Operation Caffeination

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Springtime brings dramatically variable weather in Seattle; newcomers and visitors to the area are always astonished at how well the word “capricious” suits our weather patterns at this time of the year.

“This outfit was perfectly reasonable for the weather when I got dressed this morning!” they’ll protest. Rookies. Everyone knows that your springtime survival here depends on your ability to master the fine art of light layering. (And you thought Seattle folks didn’t care about their clothes…we do! We are huge fans of all the big names: REI, Patagonia, Columbia…)

Today was a very typical Spring day; it started out with a downpour, and my phone buzzed constantly with texts from my husband saying things like, “I look like i just got out of the shower,” and, “Dammit, I forgot to bring an extra pair of socks.”

My little neighborhood bird friends took cover on my patio and chirped pitifully at me while they shook the water off of their feathers. They were gone again before I could get myself together to clean the soggy birdseed out of the feeders, though, tempted away from their breakfast by the sparkle of warm sunshine. Fifteen minutes later a hearty wind kicked up and knocked my feeders over entirely; it brought a thick cloud cover along with it, which had burned off completely by the time we’d finished our breakfast and morning story time.

On days like this, those in the know head to Swanson’s Nursery. It is probably my favorite spot in the city, particularly the little cafe, which is nestled inside a greenhouse.

The kids and I enjoyed a light lunch of salad and sandwiches, perched at our table by the koi pond.


Later, we wandered through row after row of native plants whose names and uses I learned from my own mother: bleeding heart and salal, kinnikkinnick and camas. I hope that I am able to give my children the experience of maintaining a real garden before they move out of my home. I’ve kept a modest container garden going ever since I’ve been married, but I get a bit lustful when I start pursuing the colorful array of plant life not entirely suited to patio gardening.


Later, we made our way up to the North greenhouse to check in on the baby chicks the nursery raises each season. We happened to be around when they first arrived this season and D has become very attached to them. I have to say, they are awfully cute.



The kids were both drowsy from the lulling warmth of the greenhouses by the end of the afternoon. I tucked them into the car with our lovely new garden additions and enjoyed one of the most luxurious experiences of modern motherhood: the peace of a car full of nappers. It was all I could do I keep my own eyes open.



Written by GRSeim

April 19, 2012 at 4:54 am

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