~ Anticipation ~
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He knows no winter, he who loves the soil,
For, storm days, when he is free from toil,
He plans his summer crops, selects his seeds
From bright-paged catalogs for garden needs.
He hears spring-heralds in the storm's turmoil;
He knows no winter, he who loves the soil.
-- Sudie Stuart Hager, Poet Laureate of Idaho, 1949-1982
Every gardener knows that under the cloak of winter lies a miracle...a seed
waiting to sprout, a bulb opening to the light, a bud straining to unfurl.  And
the anticipation nurtures our dream.  
-- Barbara Winkler
In winter's cold and sparkling snow, the garden in my mind does grow.
I look outside to blinding white, and see my tulips blooming bright.
On this cold and freezing day, daffodils do gently sway,
And yellow roses perfume the air, I can see them blooming there.
In my mind, clematis climbs, and morning glories do entwine.
Woodland phlox and scarlet pink replace the frost, if I just blink.
My inner eye sees past the snow, and in my mind, my gardens grow.
-- Author Unknown
The flowers of late winter and early spring occupy places in our
hearts well out of proportion to their size.  
-- Gertrude Wister
From December to March, there are, for many of us, three gardens:  
the garden outdoors, the garden of pots and bowls in the house and
the garden of the mind's eye.  
-- Katherine White
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Music: Somewhere Over the Rainbow

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Old New Orleans

Friday's Journal
Once, on a cold and drizzly February day, I found a neighbor happily immersed in a batch of
newly arrived seed catalogs.  She was choosing, re-choosing, then choosing again which
seeds she would order for her spring garden, and plotting on a notebook page where each
would be planted.  Knowing the avid gardener she was, I asked how she could stand the
next several weeks before she could actually get outside and start digging.
 "But," she said, "these are the best weeks of all.  These are the weeks of planning and
imagining.  These are the weeks of wonderful anticipation!"
Over the years, I learned that there was a lot of truth in what she'd said.  Many times, don't
we find that the anticipation of a coming event is the best part of the experience?
 When I found a seed catalog in my mailbox today, I thought about my neighbor's words and
her beautiful spring gardens.  And so I spent a couple of hours planning and imagining.
 And, now,
on this cold, drizzly February day, I'm sharing part of my "wonderful anticipation"
with you.
 -- Nancy