We have tiny, tiny shoots poking up on the south side of our house. In the park, the shoots have emerged enough to be identifiable: daffodils.
Much of the snow is gone, and what is left is crusty and black from car exhaust and dirt.
It still may freeze and snow again, but spring is triumphing and it makes me glad.
Doug sent me a bouquet of tulips and irises at work--they were supposed to arrive the Friday he left for ice fishing, but instead they arrived yesterday, a week late. I was just as happy to see them as if Proflowers had delivered them on the proper Friday: so colorful and tender and pretty.
The UPress met and looked at early drafts of my cover design; I haven't seen them, but they apparently were all wrong. You might recall that the designer was supposed to pull together accoutrements from the life of a small city newspaper person, circa 1980. Well, it would be asking a lot of the designer to require him to read an entire book, so he did the best he could, but it wasn't very good: apparently his design showed a desk with a manual typewriter (no), a cup full of sharpened pencils (no), and a stopwatch (perhaps to hint at deadlines? but a little too obtuse).
So I ransacked my basement and came up with a bunch of stuff, including a second press pass, newer than the cardboard one I mentioned here before. This one is laminated plastic, and it has my grinning face on it, and also, alarmingly, my social security number. Those were the days before identity theft, I guess.
I also sent over a Pickwick ashtray (stolen for me by a friend, because I was too chicken); a couple of News-Tribune coffee mugs; my pica pole and cropping wheel; a front page from 1980-something, with the line story written by me, all about mines shutting down on the Range; my Duke University ID card from the days of my fellowship; and--my favorite brilliant idea--pictures of Toby. I always had Toby pictures pinned up at my desk back in the day, and I do love the idea of Toby on the front of my book.
So we'll see what the second round of cover designs produces.
We are waiting for our friend Erik, who is supposed to visit this weekend. He flies free as a family member of an airline employee, which means he gets the last available seat on a plane. We're waiting to see if he makes it or not. His last email, sent at 1 this morning, said we'd either see him at 3 p.m. or some other weekend. I hope he makes it--we haven't seen him in more than a year.
The picture above was taken during his last visit--April 2008. It was a beautiful weekend, we went for a long bike ride, I got sunburned--and then right after he left it snowed and snowed and snowed.
The boys are agitating for a walk. We must go.