Merry St. Patrick’s Day from Joyful Musings

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St. Patrick's Day Parade in Quebec City in 1924

Full disclosure – this week’s Joyful Musings is both a look back and forward.  I wrote it in May 2015 and, like a good Saint Patrick’s Day cap, it’s fun to pull it out and wear it once again.  Enjoy Joyful Musers – Merry Saint Patrick’s Day!

By Susan Dromey Heeter, Joyful Musings
Coming out of this past winter and viewing this spring is like leaving an afternoon matinee and being blinded by the sunshine. Were we in the dark that long? Was it really that cold?


Is that Sir Luc with Susan Dromey Heeter?

I love how we New Englanders seem to have built in forgetters, seasonal amnesia. I know I certainly do as I go sort through my gloves, my jackets, my winter gear and think, “Will I ever need this stuff again? Certainly it will never get THAT cold. Heck, who needs these scarves? Not me!”

Ah, the insanity of memory.

My friend Margo and I walked every Monday these past nine months — no matter what. We braved the cold, the rain, the ice, and the massive, massive snow. We trekked weekly with our dogs, our parkas, our fleece, our boots and now in May we’re picking ticks off our pooches and ourselves.

It’s hard to recall as we hoof it through Kingman Farm in Madbury that once upon a time there was too much snow even to park and that our steps went so deep we’d likened it to creating post holes. Now we glide, we groove, we trip on the roots of trees and listen to the massive cacophony of birds.

And our dogs sniff every new and vibrant scent known to canines.

And now it’s time to dig out sunglasses, figure out when and what to plant, enjoy the smells of May and the upcoming summer — barbecues, bug spray, flowers, newly mowed lawns.

My students in the St. Mary Academy Student Council performed their annual Battle of the Sands, cleaning up after a winter that left enough dirt and sand behind to cover the Sahara with a second coat. Between the teams (the Sandra Bullocks, the Adam Sandlers, the Sand Between My Toes and the Sand Dollars), students swept and scooped up more than 600 pounds of sand on the playground. Yes, more than 600 pounds. In 10 minutes.

I love the Battle of the Sands. I love the energy and enthusiasm of children. And I love that we’ll recycle sand for, well, next winter. But will we really need it?


Ah, who can think that far ahead? It’s so lovely to bask in today, in the fact that the snow has finally melted, the air conditioners are making a comeback and I’ve finally taken down the Christmas wreaths. Yes, like those guests who never leave, my wreaths were up well into March and, dare I say, April. First it was Merry St. Patrick’s Day and then Merry Easter. Hello, Santa Bunny.

Oh, boy, it was a long winter. And it is already a lovely spring. It’s a wonderful fully colored panorama of color and sounds and smells and joy.

And, yes, hold onto those mittens. You may need them, ah, far sooner than you think.

 Susan Dromey Heeter, a writer from Dover who recently let her hair go au natural white, debuts her new column “Joyful Musings” at Dromey Heeter is a secondary Spanish Teacher at Dover High School and the mother of two teenage daughters.  Writing has been her passion since her English majoring days at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst.  Dromey Heeter has lived in The Netherlands, Alaska and currently basks in all things New England, including the frigid winters. An avid swimmer, Dromey Heeter’s great passion is to bring back body surfing as most children have no idea how to ride waves without ridiculous boogie boards. She also writes about thrift shopping and all things frugal  in a column called “Budget Vogue” for the New Hampshire Union Leader.

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