March 19, 2013
Ah, the festivals have begun here in Gwinnett County; have you been to any? My husband and I had the pleasure of going to Lawrenceville’s Springfest on Saturday, and then we caught the tail end of the Beerfest in Suwanee that same day. The weather was perfect – even hot in the sunshine – and people everywhere were feeling that hopeful yearning for warm weather, dazzling splashes of color and green as far as the eye can see.
It’s March in Georgia and as my Dad used to say, “If you don’t like the weather, stick around for 15 minutes. It’ll change.” Oh, do I miss him.
On Sunday, we went to our favorite home improvement store to buy some early-blooming flowers and by the time we got there, the shelves were almost bare. Hanging baskets, flowers, yard art, and vegetable and herb plants were being snapped up like bread and milk before a Georgia ice storm. Everybody, it seems, has the fever.
Age does some strange things to us though, and at my age, there’s that little voice inside my head that keeps whispering, “Don’t get used to this weather. It’s not here to stay.” In fact, some of the worst ice and snowstorms in our state’s history have hit in March. My daughter calls that kind of thinking “negative.” I just call it “realistic.”
I got a call from a friend who lives in upstate New York Sunday evening. She and her family had just gotten home from her city’s St. Patrick’s Day parade. The high on Sunday was 30 degrees. That phone call made me realize how spoiled we are here in the South. We can have an 80 degree day followed by a 50 degree day, but I can’t recall ever talking about a high of 30 degrees in March in Georgia. Thank heaven for that.
I must say I was awfully tempted on Sunday to buy a couple of those beautiful hanging baskets stuffed full of summer-loving plants, colors tumbling and spilling over the sides like a dazzling waterfall. I didn’t though. Too many times I’ve jumped the gun just to wake up one morning to find a brown, mushy mess where my beautiful flowers used to be. I’ll wait a month or so, I think.
I was also tempted to pull on a pair of shorts instead of my customary jeans before we headed out to explore the festivals. I decided at the last minute to spare the other festival-goers the specter of my pasty white legs. None of us is ready for that just yet either, not even me.
Have you started planting yet? Dad always said to wait until Good Friday before doing any Spring planting, but Easter weekend comes awfully early this year.
Carole Townsend is also a Gwinnett Daily Post staff correspondent and author of two books: “Southern Fried White Trash” and her newest, “Red Lipstick and Clean Underwear” (released October 2012). She is currently working on her third book. Townsend has been quoted on msnbc.com, in the LA Times, USA Today and the Christian Science Monitor, been featured on FOX 5 Television News and CNN, and is often a guest on television and radio shows nationwide. She currently travels throughout the southeast, meeting readers at festivals, book signings and other events, and speaking publicly to various women’s, writers and civic groups.