Ann Kuehn - Contributing columnist



A pox on March which entered with a “ba-a” and prefers exiting with a “roar!”

March happens to be my birthday month. I should have opted for June.

Snow showers are not bringing May flowers. Instead, confused daffodils and their ilk must wonder why they bothered to venture forth. The daffodils, so laboriously drilled under the pine trees, are up with mixed results. They may just be pouting, or deliberately contumacious.

March is, however, a good time to plant beets. If I can lure a male offspring to move compost, I may get beets planted. Offers of meals are not working; perhaps the guilt card will.

Historically, spring has been associated with seasonal rebirth. Ancient Celts celebrated the breeding cycle of sheep, making a little more sense than the emergence of potatoes.

Brigid was the pagan goddess of fertility, immortalized in an effigy of rushes and oats and immolated the next day. Poor Brigid.

India celebrates Holi, a festival of love and color, also marked with the lighting of bonfires to forget and forgive past errors and conflicts. How boring are we to be satisfied with a grumpy groundhog, jerked from hibernation to portend the cessation of ice, snow, grayness, and dampness.

It is fortunate for the groundhog that his handlers chose not to emulate Brigid.

A few weeks ago I wrote a column about deep cleaning. Having “talked the” talk, I am now “walking the walk.”

Both bathrooms, laundry area, bedroom and family room are done. The kitchen, always a challenge, has taken two days. The challenge stems from returning from Kroger and shoving items willy-nilly into whatever available space.

Today — just today — the kitchen merits a Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval. All appliances were attacked. Non-perishables are stacked by category, pots and pans systematically arranged, dishcloths, aprons, and pot holders sorted, and silver cleaned. (I insist on putting the silver in the dishwasher, turning the fork tines gold).

Surfaces, depending on construction material, were sprayed with vinegar/water or Lysol, corners vacuumed, and anything that could fit was shoved into the dishwasher. I should probably take a picture.

The gods certainly had women in mind with the invention of the dishwasher.

This one is new. A few weeks ago the door on the previous dishwasher would not close. Maintenance decided that the latch was broken and the lid could only be closed by holding it with a screwdriver. Hardly practical.

My cousin suggested requesting a Bosch.

“Dream on” I replied. “I will be lucky to get a bottle of Dawn and a package of Brillo pads.”

But I did get a very nice replacement which has a 33-minute “quick wash.” Since the dishes are basically washed before being placed in the dishwasher (a suggestion from a dishwasher repairman), the quick wash cycle is sanitizing everything — not a bad idea for our Covid world.

Still looming are the living and dining rooms where every surface is cluttered with something. Most women are of two distinct personalities — the clutter-er and the non. I am the former. Last week I had lunch at a “non.”

I wanted to come home and burn down this place.

I will get the cleaning done, including the office and garage. Spring will come and merge into summer. Congress will perhaps decide on a permanent season time change.

My understanding is that time-switching originated on milking schedules, but as of yet, no one has asked the opinion of a cow.

With the permission of the Wilmington News Journal, I would like to interject a big of doggerel:

Persistently, Sun directed a beam to the left of Spring’s eye. The eye opened.

“Not yet”, moaned Spring, “Please just one more month”. Sun remained unmoved. “It hasn’t been long enough” Spring whined, “I’m not ready. GO AWAY!” Sun upped a kilowatt.

Spring reached down to pull up her snow cover but it had melted to a trickle around her toes, which were turning an alarming green. Small crocus clustered. A branch of Forsythia curled around Spring’s knees and somewhere, not too terribly far, a bunch of Daffodils raised trumpets to the sky, blaring Reville.

“Next year”, muttered Spring “I’m planting myself a whole lot deeper”.

She yawned a-ga-zillion violets. A robin landed, tugging at a frizzle of Spring’s hair though, indigestible, coordinated perfectly with a nest in progress.

“I give up,” said Spring, glaring at the Sun. Sun smiled benignly. A sniffle, a cough, a few muttered curses, a “heave and a ho”, fey feckless Spring finally stood up.

Ann Kuehn resides at Ohio Living Cape May in Wilmington. She says, “I gravitated to Ohio at age 18 and never left” and moved to Sabina in 1987.

Ann Kuehn

Contributing columnist