Almost Spring

Daylight Savings Time seems to baffle some people. When the time comes each fall and spring to set our clocks back or forward an hour, the conversation naturally drifts to the origination of the annoying ritual.

Chloe is looking forward to spring,too. (Photo by Cynthia Petersen)

Chloe is looking forward to spring,too. (Photo by Cynthia Petersen)

According to thetimenow.com, Daylight Savings Time (DST) is a change in the standard time with the purpose of making better use of daylight and conserving energy. And though it has only been used for about 100 years, the idea was used by ancient civilizations to adjust their daily schedules to the Sun’s schedule. For example, the Roman water clocks used different scales for different months.

Daylight Saving Time was first introduced in 1918 when President Woodrow Wilson signed it into law to support the war effort during World War I.

Today, DST starts on the second Sunday in March and ends on the first Sunday in November. Currently, most of the United States observes DST except for Hawaii and most of Arizona, as well as Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, American Samoa, and Guam.

I was in grade school when we learned about DST. Mrs. Hafer taught us that one easy way to remember which way you move the clocks was to “spring forward” or “fall back.” Not does it help me remember which way to turn the clocks, but I also use it as a way to mentally prepare myself for the changing seasons.

And though I hear a lot of complaints about losing an hour sleep, I don’t mind it at all, because I know warmer weather can’t be far off.

It’s interesting the people of Hawaii and Arizona don’t follow the same protocol as the rest of the nation, but I guess they have their reasons.

I’m just glad spring is almost here.

 

In search of…a pumpkin patch

I haven’t been to a pumpkin patch in Cedar Rapids for a long time. Apparently, it shows. On my quest to take my grandchildren to a pumpkin patch yesterday, I failed at locating even a single one.

Thomas and Makayla at Bever Park

There is a pumpkin patch a little more than 10 miles away in a neighboring little town, but when I checked their website, I found out that the admission price was $11 each.

This price included all ages with a discount for seniors and military personal. Bloomsbury Farms does have a wide assortment of activities; a petting zoo, pumpkin cannon, a corn maze, and hayrack rides. It also had a gift shop and a small train ride for smaller kids, so the money would have been well-spent. However, being an unemployed college student, I just couldn’t justify spending that much on entertainment for a few hours.

So I loaded my tribe into my Cobalt and took them on a journey around Cedar Rapids and Marion in search of a pumpkin patch. I remembered one or two that I used to take my own kids to, but they no longer exist.

We had fun, a great time, in fact. We talked and laughed and told jokes. But we never did find a pumpkin patch.

I almost took them to the Hy-Vee by our house to buy a pumpkin, but I knew it wouldn’t be the same.

We decided to stop at Bever Park to play, which made up for the ever-elusive pumpkin patch. And no outing with Grandma is complete without stopping at the Dairy Queen.

Enjoying a Dairy Queen

So we didn’t find a pumpkin patch. Oh, well; we had a great time anyway. Sometimes it’s more fun to create the adventure as you go.

Morning Glorious

Summer is winding down. The mornings and evenings are getting cooler. Soon the leaves will begin to change color and drop from the trees in droves.

Morning Glories-the beginning

I like the changing seasons. The smell of burning leaves, the crisp, cool air, the fierce excitement of football games and tailgates; these are all reminders that another season has passed. And so, it’s time to say goodbye to summer.

I had a great summer. I worked a lot of it, but I still found time to enjoy it.  One time I did this summer was to learn how to grow Morning Glories, a challenge that taught me that there is more to it than just putting seeds in some soil.

I did start with a packet of seeds, a small container, and potting soil.  but then I had to wait. And wait and wait…a long time.

It was almost a month before the first green stem began to nudge its way through the soil. Of course I was thrilled! I was actually capable of making something grow!

A little bit more

But  I knew this was just the beginning. I had to care for them so they would thrive. So I watered them when they needed it, gave them plenty of sunshine, and lots of TLC. But as much as I tried, they didn’t grow very fast. A month had passed and still they were only an inch high. Out of the 30 or so seeds that I planted, only five actually made it that far. I decided that I would transplant them into a larger container.  And so they grew a little more.

When they had matured to a few more inches, it was apparent that they needed to be set free. After researching Morning Glories, I found out that they are a viney sort of flower that blossoms in the morning (duh) and like a lot of sun. I planted them at the base of a trellis set up against the garage, in full view of the morning sun.

Every day I checked on their progress. They were a little slow at first, but then something amazing happened. They began to grow. Rapidly. They began to grow so fast I couldn’t keep up with them. They took on a life of their own and wrapped around the trellis…twice. But still, there were no flowers.

Two months later

After a few weeks of strictly leafy blossoms, I began to accept the fact that it just wasn’t meant to be, that my plant would be blossomless. But then it happened. I was walking around the yard one day and I saw it. I saw something out of the corner of my eye, and I had to look twice to make myself believe it. But there it was; a pretty little pink flower that had made its home on my vine.

I was so excited, I just had to share it with everyone I knew, who were just as excited because they know my track record with pants. So, I have broken my curse with plants…but still not with moles. This accomplishment kind of makes up for the mess they made of my yard. Almost.

Morning Glorious