Thursday, April 8, 2010

Spring Fancies

Alfred Lord Tennyson wrote that "In the spring, a young man's fancy lightly turns to thoughts of love", and perhaps it does. However, it's been my experience that a young man's fancy lightly turns to thoughts of love just about every season of the year and that in the spring a young man's fancy turns to a lot of things other than love. In the spring a young man's fancy seriously turns to thoughts of baseball! From the day that pitchers and catchers report for spring training in late February there is a feeling of expectation. Maybe this will be the year the home team brings home the pennant. After long years of home baseball deprivation since the Senators moved to Texas, I find myself once again feeling the thrill of reading the training reports and grapefruit league results in mild to wild expectations. Alas, after two games my beloved Nationals are zero and two for the season. In the spring a young man's fancy seriously turns to thoughts of vacation! Lazy days on sandy beaches, watching the waves with a book in one hand and a tall cool drink in the other. Or maybe, lounging on the deck of a cruise ship scanning the distant horizon for whales. Maybe this will be the year that my wife and I will get to enjoy the wildlife of Denali National Park in Alaska. From experience, I recognize that planning and anticipation are almost half of the fun. And, for me at least, in the spring a young man's fancy seriously turns to thoughts of gardening as surely as my wife's fancy turns to thoughts of spring cleaning and organizing our mountain of stuff. Maybe, with the snow-damaged trees removed, there will be enough light to grow some really good tomatoes. As John Denver says in the song "What would life be without home grown tomatoes?" He also sings quite correctly that "I forget all about the sweatin' and diggin' each time I go out and pick me a biggun!" And he's right! And not only home grown tomatoes, but maybe we'll also be inundated with zucchini and swiss chard and green beans. In the words of the same song. "There's just two things that money can't buy. And that's good lovin' and home grown tomatoes!" So maybe Tennyson was right. In the spring a young man's fancy does lightly turn to thoughts of love and more seriously to thoughts of baseball, vacation, and home grown tomatoes.