Sunday, April 3, 2011

Just another day in Bermtopia: Forcing forsythia and memento mori

Because I have a head cold courtesy of the airlines and New York City subway systems (When was the last time you spent 72 hours trying to convince your lungs they really are better off INSIDE your chest cavity?) . . . .

And because I STILL have not received my invitation to The Royal Wedding. (C'MON, you guys!) . . . .

I decided to engage in one of my favorite Rites of Spring this weekend: Forcing forsythia.

Yeah, I know it's got that Dominatrix sound to it, but it's a really quite benign pasttime:

1. Clip several branches off the forsythia bush in the backyard Friday afternoon.

2. Add water.

And 3. Voila! Spring on Sunday!


On a sadder note: I must also report on the passing of an old, old friend this weekend.

Yes, our trusty outdoor temperature / wind chill gauge was brought down once and for all by a particularly rambunctious wind and hail storm yesterday. I loved that little guy.

Perched just outside the backdoor, he was attached to the house when we bought it in 1992 and had served, I think, as the Nine-One-Four's climatological sentinel since the 1950s. He already had survived a few close calls -- including, I seem to recall, one particularly robust power washing of the house by the Wonderfully Patient Spouse where he was blown out of his holder (the gauge, that is. . . not the WPS).

Among his many important duties, the little gauge was our oracle and muse when sending kids out to play. . . choosing the right outerwear for walking the dog. . . and determining whether to cover the tomatoes at night.

No fancy-schmancy digital stuff here -- just a humble little plastic orb that reported the temperature for us each day with a nifty circular chart for calculating wind chill.

I will miss the yellowed 1950s patina of his face -- and the sporty salmon color of his dial. It matched PERFECTLY with his "Sunbeam" brand name -- a happy message of hope on even the bleakest days of winter.

And now you are gone. A handful of plastic shards and a dislocated weather dial are your legacy.

Godspeed on your journey to the Great Weather Station in the Sky, my little friend. You have served us well.


  1. Rest in peace, dearly departed Sunbeam. After 50+ years being a sentinal/oracle, perhaps you are due for a well earned rest xox

    p.s. Are those GREEN flowers? I love green flowers. Don;t see too many around here.

  2. My condolences on the loss of your gauge. His service to you and his sporty salmon accents were impressive.

    -Chandra at Daley's Dog Years