Next thing I like to do in spring is eat chocolate, though that really applies to 365/24/7, right? But Easter is a great excuse to buy chocolate for everyone I love! A couple of weekends ago we were out-of-state, at our second son's birthday party, in an almost deserted bowling alley. He chose the venue. I had pre-shopped and wrapped, and left him a bag holding Easter goodies for him, his wife, and the two grandsons (theirs was books, of course, and chocolate bunnies for the older one.) I also brought a bag for my daughter, who lives there also, to hide in a closet and "find" on Easter morning. That way I don't have to worry about them getting their packages in the mail in time. The goodies are already there.
But the thing I most look forward to in spring is the start of camping season! In spring there aren't that many skeeters yet, and the nights are cool enough to really enjoy a big campfire, and to wear a jacket to keep off the few bugs that are out. Husband took me camping in the spring when we first started dating. Previous guys had dragged me to places like a sister's horse farm that didn't even have an outhouse! I hated it. So when my new guy took me to a MN state park that had hot showers and flush toilets, along with the beauty of nature, and the solitude of falling asleep in my chair by the campfire, looking up at the stars, and thanking God for the miracle of having him in my life, I was hooked.
We were tent campers for years, until the fourth baby was born, just 5 years after the first one. We had to bring so much babbage (baby-baggage) that it was damn near impossible to even find the tent. So we got our first pop-up camper. We used it until the kids got too big for it. Then we traded it in and got a bigger pop-up. Then the 2 older boys decided they didn't want to come with us anymore, and the other 2 bought their own tents, so we traded in the big one for a smaller one again. Now that one is showing its wear, so for Valentine's Day, the husband gave me a card that had a copy of the order receipt, for the new Scamp that he ordered to be custom-built for us! I've been talking about Scamps for years. We visited their plant in upper MN last year, when we were camping by husband's brother and sis-in-law's place.
FYI, all Scamps are custom-built. They only put into it what you want, but they aren't available at any other place other than their plant. They operate like POD paperbacks from small publishers: they are only built when they get an order. But they're backlogged with orders, because their reputation for quality is undeniable. I wanted to get one to last us through to our retirement, when we want to tour all of the National Parks, in all 49 contiguous states.
We're also very fond of Grand Marais, MN, where I set my Minnesota Romances, and we'd love to spend a week or two up there, even though the temps were only in the mid-60's the last few trips we were up there...in July! My philosophy is that if it's not raining, and you can't see your breath, it's warm enough to swim in the lake. Husband says it's because of me Scottish ancestry--me late faither said our forebears used to swim in the North Sea--they didn't paint themselves blue, so much as that's the color they turned when they went swimming!
Our Scamp won't be done until mid-summer, probably sometime in July. So we'll still be in the pop-up until then. And with state parks and forests closed for now, due to viral fears, it will probably be some time before we'll be out under the stars again. But every year when the weather starts to be nice, and you can walk out and smell the new plants growing again, and feel warm breezes on your face, the urge builds in everyone in my family. It's time for camping!