A Spring of Firsts

This spring has brought many awesome and surprising firsts.

The maple syruping season ended after a rollicking three weeks with some excellent sap runs in the usually too cold early March. Then a series of above freezing nights brought the season to an abrupt and unusually early end. It was a first to put away our sap buckets before St Patrick’s Day!

In the gardens, it has also been all about firsts. Yesterday, I spent the day tying up Rose canes and pruning back Rose runners in the Rose garden. I have never even approached the Roses in March, let alone wrangled them into some semblance of organization. Usually they are still under snow!

So many spring Flowers have arrived in the gardens weeks ahead of usual! The honeybees are out and about buried in Crocus, Snowdrops, Winter Aconite, Iris Reticulata and Scilla Siberica. From the office, we watch them bomb into the hives with enormous balls of pollen on their legs! Bee happiness!

Last night, to end our weekend doing garden chores, we settled down to a traditional corned beef and cabbage dinner for a slightly late celebration of St Patrick’s Day. It was too hot a meal for the hot hot night! With sunburned faces over steaming bowls, we did our best to chow down, but it felt like a winter dish on a summer night. It was definitely a first to have this meal feel so out of place for an evening in March!

Our hilltop has had some unusual first time mud issues. High temperatures meant an early and intense mud season that blew out the roads all over our town. While our road has often been impassable during mud season, the first for us was a mudslide right out front of the farm that created a crazy wave of mud the likes of which I have never seen before. More cars than I can count got stuck in this wave, and it gave us cause to use all kinds of unlikely surf lingo in discussing the prospects of anyone getting to work or being able to leave to go home.

I have saved the best first for last…..Our happiest and most wonderful first is the engagement of Elizabeth to Miguel Ramirez.

While this will come as no surprise to anyone who read her book, Elizabeth met Miguel because of the Camino.

A Green Hope friend who read Lizzy’s book, The Trail, then decided to walk the Camino early last summer. On this friend’s Camino she met Miguel and was sure Miguel and Elizabeth were meant to meet. Miguel had been living in France, England and Kenya for the last eight years. He had done a stretch of the Camino right before Elizabeth’s first Camino, then returned to the Camino to finish it right before Elizabeth walked her third Camino. They missed each other by a few short days at several points! However the Camino prevailed kindness of this Green Hope friend and they met after all!

The courtship began in Miguel’s hometown of Austin, Texas and led to a marriage proposal out in the hayfields of Green Hope Farm on the eve of Lizzy’s birthday in early February.

Now we are knee deep in planning a garden wedding celebration! It is a most happy of firsts for all of us as we all love Miguel and are so happy he is going to be a part of our lives!

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