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The Cove Journal
by JoDee Samuelson

Drawing Class (JoDee Samuelson)At the hall down the shore the weekly Art Classes for Seniors are going like gangbusters. Who knew there was so much talent in this crowd? Most of these budding artists never thought they could draw, yet are turning out stunning charcoal sketches with the ease of seasoned professionals. Some of the credit must go to the teacher who knows how to spice her suggestions with a liberal sprinkling of praise, an instructional technique that works even for adults.

The art classes have helped make time pass for those of us who stayed put on the Island all winter. We are happy for our neighbors who went to the Caribbean and have the sun-burned noses to prove it. “Some day, some day,” say the rest of us. We study the exotic labels on the gifts they bring back: café tostado en grano Santo Domingo, W-S-M Mixed Essence, Annato Seed. What will we ever do with a quarter pound of Amchar Massala? No matter, even if it sits in the cupboard for ten years it will be a welcome reminder of friends who became dreamy-eyed as they told of swimming up to poolside bars, ordering big fruity drinks and floating away into bliss.

In the Cove a different form of floating is going on: the rise and fall of floats on sump pumps. The water table is alive and well. Does anyone miss raking snow off roofs and chipping away ice dams? Risking life and limb to knock off that giant icicle from hell? Our poor rain gutters have taken a beating, but surely that’s all behind us now as we head into April, and who said it better than T. S. Eliot:

April is the cruelest month, breeding–
Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing
–Memory and desire, stirring
Dull roots with spring rain.

April can be a little hard to take. The snow, if any, is dirty and unimaginative. The wet unworkable garden sits there facing us accusingly. This is really the time to take a holiday. Yet life now begins again. The lilacs are indeed breeding out of the wet red soil, their fat buds needing only a little sustained sunshine to explode out of old winter coats. Crocuses decked out in gold and purple Easter bonnets enjoy their all-too-brief moment of glory. A dandylion blooms in a sunny corner of the yard, and next to the porch a patch of daylilies sprouts green and luscious.

Some newlywed grackles have set up housekeeping in the honeysuckle bush. They noisily discuss home furnishings and childrearing philosophy, while down at the shore migrating geese, plovers and terns pause to catch their breath before heading further north.

So we all march ahead with the support of Daylight Savings Time, rising interest rates and a valuable Canadian dollar. Yes, gas prices are up and the tax season is upon us, but hey, the folks in the Cove have made it through another winter. Happy Spring!

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