Magic words

In this drab time of year, I heard a phrase which darn near made my spine tingle with excitement yesterday: Spring training starts in a week.

Wow, that means spring is on its way. And the most magical thing about spring, with apologies to the gardeners out there, is the beginning of baseball season.

I am more patient now than I was as a kid; I couldn't stand the wait back then. Now, I look for any chance to throw the brakes on advancing time, so I am determined to relish February no matter how foul it is. But it isn't more than six weeks until I get to watch the Twins again!

It was during February of my childhood that I spent more time at home sick with various ailments--mumps, flu, strep, whatever--than I did in school. I think I was just depressed much of the time. February and early March can be the worst.

But now I am on happy pills, thank goodness, and I feel downright good. The gray weather might make me slightly grumpy in the morning, but not despondent.

SORRY ABOUT THE LACK of pictures lately. I took a bunch earlier in the week. In fact, I stopped traffic on a highway out in the valley while I took pictures of windreak rows covered in frost. The sky was blue. The photos were prize winners, at least most of them.

But alas, I had forgot the memory card again. So, there went those prizes.

MY DAD's first cousin Roy from California, who was in the area for business, is spending the weekend at the house. Roy is a retired high school principal who at present organizes exchange programs to China. He travels there two, three or four times per year. He knows the ropes, and he wants me to come over there so he can show me around and report from China, with pictures, on this weblog.

Now, that sounds like fun.

ROY and Aunt OLLA go way back. Roy is in at the Fertile Hilton visiting Olla now. Olla has a stack of pictures for him to go through, and then they will talk about the old days for a long time. Roy's father was Olla's oldest brother. Roy is apparently a chip off the old block, so Olla is just in her element when he visits.