April 20, 2009

Yep...Green is My Favorite Color

I have tried for many years to live by the following quotation: "To be interested in the changing seasons is a happier state of mind than to be hopelessly in love with spring." (George Santayana) Sounds good, doesn't it? We love that fall foliage in New England, don't we? It gives us a reason to tolerate winters in Nebraska, right? But, as I get older, I am more interested in what is true than what should be true. I check my feelings and...
I confess this day -- I am hopelessly in love with SPRING!

Witness the dependable emergence of grass in mid-April (which has already been mown once! Ah, the wonderful smell of it!).

Witness the sprouting of lettuce, spinach, peas, turnips, and mustard greens in the garden.

Witness the blooming of flowers after a long, winter's sleep. (They're hard to see, but trust me, they're there!)

There are good reasons why we love spring so much -- the re-birth, without fail, of the world every year; the warm rains that bring life to the ground; the literal birth of the farm animals as if on a schedule; the voluptuousness of warmth, seedlings, and life all around us. No wonder there is a quotation that reprimands us for being so in love with spring! The other seasons probably got together and worked on it since they were so far behind in the race for human predilection.

I swear to keep working on discovering the beauty in each season, but I refuse to try to temper the fact that spring has it goin' on, by far, over all the other seasons!

Happy SPRING, everyone!

April 3, 2009

Things That Go Bump in the Night

Yet another update on Musical Cars.

Dear Reader, you are simply not going to believe what I have to report this time about our car situation. But it is all too true.

At precisely 12:06am (that's just after midnight for you am/pm challenged folk) a couple of weeks ago, there was a knock at our door. Now, one teenager is in France so I didn't think it could have to do with her. The other teenager was safely tucked into her computer in her room. The younger children were long gone to slumberland. So, who could it possibly be? Should we even answer the door? Is one of our neighbors in trouble? Should we get the bat? Well, no, if it were a robber or intruder of some sort, why the knock? A polite thug? These thoughts are not coherent because they occurred in a flash, and they occurred, as I mentioned, at 12:06am.

Omaha's Finest*, it turns out, work the night shift, and the fact that the rest of us may be sleeping does not deter them from carrying out their duties.

And what was the infraction that brought this particular officer to our door, you may ask? Well, the fact that one of the cars in our driveway had Iowa license plates on it. I couldn't believe my ears. I even asked quietly if it was a joke. I was assured by the officer that it was not a joke. Uh-oh. We were busted.

A little background...we have the six cars. Three of them are licensed here in Omaha, Nebraska, and the other three, two trucks and a car, are registered in Iowa since we use the trucks on the farm (which is located in Iowa and on which we pay taxes) and the car to go back and forth delivering produce during the growing season. Right now is not the growing season and the car has been on vacation here in Nebraska. Logical, no? Well, no, as it turns out. You see, the rule is, any car that is located in the state of Nebraska for 30 days or more must be licensed in Nebraska. (Oh, did you figure out that it's a little bit cheaper to register a car in Iowa than in Nebraska? Yes, we have deep, dark motives for our anti-social behaviour!)

Our visitor was understanding and gave us some ideas about how to redeem ourselves. I spent the next half a day getting bumped back and forth among various municipal departments that handle such matters and finally was told the following: one of our neighbors must not have a life and called in the fact that a car with an Iowa plate was sitting in our driveway for more than the 30 days maximum. We were instructed to keep the car parked in a garage when not in use.

Seriously? Seriously.

It seems to me that said neighbor should be given the bill for the taxpayer dollars that were wasted in having that officer come to our house at midnight (he probably gets time and a half for working the night shift) and another bill for wasting my half a day calling around and another bill for all the time city bureaucrats spent on the other end of those calls trying to figure out what to do with us. And for good measure, let's add a penalty on top of it all for just being silly.

Ah, what a perfect world that would be!

*For those of you across the pond, police officers