Our long snow and icy winter is over and spring has finally come to New England.
March and April can seem so long here along the NH/Massachusetts border, especially when the leaves on the trees don’t open up until the first week in May.
A New England spring can last several weeks or sometimes only one or two days and then we’ll get a sudden heat wave and it will be summer. We’ve enjoyed about a week of spring and the azalea, daffodils, hyacinths and a quince have all opened up this past week.
Along with finalizing a book project, much of my time in February and March was in helping coordinate the first annual New England Publishing Conference—”Survive and Thrive”— sponsored by Independent Publishers of New England (IPNE). Given the pace of change in the book industry, the 80 attendees at our conference site just outside Boston were eager to learn from some of the leaders in the industry.
Our keynote speaker, David Godine, one of the country’s most respected independent publishers, joined Cevin Bryerman of Publishers Weekly, Anita Silvey, children’s literary expert, and others to offer their perspective on the major challenges and opportunities in book publishing today. Judith Rosen took this photo for PW Daily. View the program and other photos on the IPNE website: www.ipne.org.
When my children were still in school, we all had fun creating seasonal centerpieces for the dining room table or the kitchen. For many years I have been collecting hand made seasonal items from the stores at Waldorf schools. Now that my daughters are grown and on their own, the young children next door enjoy arranging my seasonal decorations. This year I put some of the handmade “flower” dolls and knitted animals along with blown eggs into a clear glass vase. A few days before Easter, I grew “grass” for several baskets using wheat berries.
My basket grass is adorned with cut flowers, but now after a week’s growth, the grass needs trimming. Some years I blow the insides of the white eggs out and then dye the rinsed shells. These can be kept for years. I’ve also purchased beautifully painted ones with ribbons and the neighbor children look forward to hanging them on a metal stand.
On May Day the new neighbors with triplets left a surprise on our front door handle—a hand made paper cornucopia of forsythia blossoms. When our children were growing up, they used to make May baskets for our neighbors—often made with paper cups. What a treat to be the recipient of this old spring tradition. Click on the pictures if you want to see a closeup of any details.