Japanese for Spring.

Having been self-quarantined since last September, our first little foray out of the house was to the Japanese Friendship Garden in downtown Phoenix on Saturday.

I know, a trip downtown?

But this is to one of my favorite little parks in Phoenix and it was for Haru, the celebration of the Spring season.

So we line up for our 11am reservation and it was cool to see 100% compliance with the mask and social distancing protocols.

The sun was shining brightly, but most of the short walk through and around the beautiful koi pond was shaded and cool. I always say the same things I have remarked in the past:

“I don’t wanna leave.”

“I wish this park was bigger.”

“I wish we could stay here all day.”

But alas, check out these pictures we took:


The only other complaint I have is that the tiny concession stand is woefully understocked. I see none of the childhood favorites I remember:

No rice candy.

No stick rock candy.

No frozen pineapple rings.

No sweet bean curd cakes.

We left with the same promise we always make: to return sooner next time.

We won’t.

Another welcome return with spring is the explosion of wildflowers and the Botanical Gardens here in the Phoenix valley is getting ready to “show its stuff” as it displays blooms of every hue and tint imaginable.

I recall one particular spring; I was camping out by Mormon Lake just south of Flagstaff. This was back when the lake had water. Nothing at all like the dried up pond it is today. So I am drinking cans of Miller High Life and smoking Thai Stick while my dog splashes in the water. This was a typical day for us and I loved every second of it. We were camped there for a month, something impossible to get away with today.

That’s where the wildflowers inject themselves into the picture, as I passed out in them (seamless transition).

I awoke to an indigo sky with a full carpet of twinkling stars. At 7500 ft. elevation, it feels like you really can reach out and touch them. I heard rustling in a bed of flowers not ten feet away from me, and it never occurred to me I was in danger.

I wasn’t.

It was Chopper gnawing on this huge knuckle joint bone from a cow that a butcher-friend of Chopper gave him.

This was the life we led for about a month, before departing for our next adventure, and that is a story for another day.

Spring is my favorite time of the year, followed by summer, then fall, and then (ugh) winter. Spring represents a rebirth of sorts. New budding flowers, the return of leaves to the trees, and the awakening of animals all welcome the arrival of spring.

It can’t get hot enough for me. I was still golfing in the 105+ degree weather back in the day before it got dangerous for me to do so with my diabetic condition.

So I am going to enjoy this last spring in Arizona as we prepare for our move to Ohio.

Enjoy yours, wherever you are.

Stay well.

Published by maddogg09

I am an unmotivated genius with an extreme love for anything that moves the emotional needles of our lives.

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