There’s no more prettier place to be than Missouri this time of year — trees heavy with blossoms, redbud purple contrasting with lime green in the woods, crab- apples rosy pink and full, lilac bushes in white and lavender perfuming the air, tempting me to “snaff” a few, a bad habit I’ve been cured of, well maybe, since we have a small bush in our backyard, one that doesn’t produce as many blossoms as I’d hoped for. Pilfering continues to tempt me.

After too many rainy, cool days, we were served up a slice of picture perfect, a weekend boon to the bounty of spring, bird songs, the scent of mown grass, and the laughter of children heralding a season we welcome after the rumble of snow plows, cold and gray, a bowl of hot soup and a crackling fire comforts for what ails, dreaded flu lurking, taking one by one down for the count.

A Lovely Day

Last Saturday I capitalized on the gorgeous morning — set my alarm for 6:45 a.m., rather than working in bed on my laptop, which I often do, writing before breakfast, striking while the iron’s hot, and to-dos distract me.

With the sun streaming into my room, it wasn’t hard to jump out of bed. I had an additional impetus other than the weather to energize me. The new section of the Rotary Riverfront Trail called, and I laced up my Brooks to beat it to the riverfront, to walk in the quiet of the crisp, early morning.

I scored. There were only a few runners and a handful of walkers there as I strolled along, admiring the marvelous new addition to our community, the wandering path, a combination of woodland and sunny spaces, the river visible nearly every step of the way.

My friend Maria, a poet, often says reading poetry slows our pace, keeps us mindful — taking a walk outdoors has the same effect on me, and now we have more trail to enjoy, 2 miles of extra pleasure to ponder nature and count our blessings.

Next Up Errands

After leaving the riverfront I ran errands downtown — a visit to the post office a must to mail notes to England and Sicily, a thank you to my Brit cousin and a couple in Sicily who were more than kind to us while we were there, having my three daughters and I over to their home for dinner, giving us a real feel for Italian family life. While at the post office I had the nicest conversation with Danielle, a long talk that started with books and morphed into our past lives.

Next stop, the All Abilities Park near Lions Lake to drop off some books in the Little Free Library. It would be a busy day at the park, no doubt. It already was, with a run/walk underway around the lake.

One of the participants was a man I’d been concerned about, had thought about a lot lately. He’d been very ill the last time I saw him, and I’d wondered how he was, meant to send a get-well, oh, good intentions —but there he was, looking in fine form as he jogged along.

A Brilliant Topper

My Saturday would have been complete if it had ended there at 10:30 a.m., but there were more pleasantries — a drive through ga-ga gorgeous Shaw Nature Reserve with my mom, followed by lunch, our conversation covering the health of friends, the glory of grandkids, shared input on stories we’re into — some page turners, some dull well past 50 pages.

My afternoon wrapped up at Neighborhood Reads, where folks gathered to mark Independent Book Store Day, a nationwide event celebrated locally in a bookstore that’s a welcome addition. There was rapt conversation with adult readers and with children, one who piped up, “I wrote a Book Buzz review on that book,” seeing one she recognized on the shelf. That did my heart good — the literacy project another give back project in our area, one supported by many.

Sometimes it’s the little things that make your day. My Saturday was stellar, and Sunday wasn’t half bad either.

Enjoy spring — relish every minute — stretch it out and make it last by focusing on the present. That’s my intention.