The Winds of March

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March at the rabbit patch is a very windy affair.  The territory is situated in a particular area where the  wind blows without mercy.  This makes us subject to storms with gusts that send the rockers off the porch and the tin off the barns.  Twice, we have had “downdraft” storms which are quick and brutal.  When it is over, the Farm Life residents come out from their homes, in a daze and scan the countryside, making sure everyone is accounted for.  Farmers armed with tractors and chainsaws go to work, clearing the debris.  Anything not nailed down is usually found weeks later in the woods and ditches, and returned by the finders.

Not every day is so harsh, in March, but even on the ordinary days, the wind will keep us as house bound as any winter weather.  I do not know how blossoms hold their own in March.   March is not the time to plan a picnic.  It is not the time to put the geraniums on the front porch, either.  We turn the rockers, so that they look as if they are kneeling in  constant prayer.  Wreaths and flags, do not stand a chance of surviving the March wind, at the rabbit patch.

Lyla loves wind-she always has.  Once, when she was not a year old-  on a day full of wind, I took her on a walk to the laughing river.  I parked the stroller, on the grassy open lot by the rivers’ bank. She laughed aloud as the wind tasseled her hair and caused her blanket to fly about wildly, as if it were alive. On that day, the wind was warm and playful.

When I was growing up, March was the time to fly kites.  We never bought a kite-Daddy made them.  We would stand in the front yard, with a field in front of us and watch the kite climb the sky, til it was barely visible.  If the twine broke, the children would make a mad dash to recover “the long, lost friend”.  Often we ran til we couldn’t, the distance was so great-and it is  very difficult to run in a freshly plowed field, even for children.  In my earliest memory, I remember that I cried,  the first time that the twine snapped and set the kite free. Daddy had worked a good deal of time with newspaper, scrap plastic and little sticks, to make that kite. We had watched him in silence, as it seemed like such a great project.  When the twine snapped, I was sure , the kite was gone forever and that daddy would be heartbroken. I did not fall for my cousin Chris’ story, nor take any comfort that the kite had gone to Heaven to be with Grandmama-and I was right as after a search, the kite was found in a ditch at least a half mile away.

 I have never been able to fly a kite with any great success-let alone make one. Every March, when my children were little, I would attempt .  I had great determination, but still the kites would climb a few measly feet and take to darting about, before plummeting in a deadly dive .  The children ceased to stand anywhere near, where the kite was, as it seemed to target one of them every time, it took a dive. 

It seems folks do well with kites at the beach.  They leave them unattended, and still the kites float peaceably above the water.  Children build castles in the sand, beneath the kites, without any fear whatsoever.  Todays’ kites are colorful and you can see every sort of shape-dragons, birds and such things.  As lovely, as it is to look up and see the sky full of pretty kites, I remember clearly the early spring evenings in my childhood, watching our kite soar mightily, over a field of winter wheat-and I think, ours, made from scraps,  is still the most beautiful kite I have ever seen.

 

 

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25 thoughts on “The Winds of March

  1. I laughed at your upside-down rocking chairs. When there’s a hurricane coming, one of the customs is to throw all of the deck chairs into swimming pools, if one is available. Of course, sometimes they’re not safe even there. After Hurricane Ike roared through the pool at one marina was filled with crushed chairs lying beneath the Mercedes that had landed there. Even in the midst of so much chaos and grief, that was pretty funny — almost as funny as the French provincial loveseat they pulled out of a boat slip some weeks later.

    We had real March winds last week, and I had my yearly remembrance of the old verse: “March winds and April showers help to bring us sweet May flowers.” It worked for Iowa, but here? Not so much, as the flowers already are blooming. The wind doesn’t care.

    I loved your tale of kite-flying, and your description of your dad’s efforts on your behalf. I agree that the homemade has it all over the purchased kites — although they can be quite beautiful. I never once flew a kite as a child. I don’t remember flying one until I moved to Texas, where it’s quite the custom to fly them on the beach!

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    1. Oh goodness-the mercedes story is so ironic! and the sofa!! well, I knew someone that needed a washing machine. One ended up in their yard and it worked! so they used it and considered it an answered prayer! thank you so much for making my morning brighter! And I hope you see many pretty kites this year flying in friendly breezes.

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  2. We flew kites at the beach when we were kids. We bought them there, but my dad has always been very handy. Anyway, only one of the 2 kites (mine!) flew with any real success. We took it to the beach with us for a few years to fly.
    Your mama’s birthday sounded wonderful!
    And oh, the wind! Nothing makes me want to huddle up inside more than hearing the wind gusting down the lane. Brrrrr…….

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  3. Have had lots of March winds so far in our state. Some of them spawning tornadoes a few miles up the road. I use to fly kites all the time as a child. Dad use to make box kites for my brothers and I out of thin stripes of wood as the frame covered with newspaper pages or thin cloth.

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    1. Box kites are particularly interesting and seem even more complicated. Tornadoes are a horror and I pray no one was hurt, We have had them year and it is devestating. Oh how I wish you a safe spring! and thank you for visiting and leaving a comment-I so enjoy them

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      1. Thanks – I hope everyone has a safe Spring. No loss of life here this time, but several in the hospital. This tornado was in the air when it went over my house, but 15 miles up the road it touched down in 2 small towns and caused tremendous damage.

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  4. I can’t believe you were told the kite had gone to heaven! Hilarious! Kites are definitely an art, and one I have never mastered either. Great post!

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  5. My daddy was a kite flyer too. I love to watch him when the kite was in the air, he was like a little boy! Thank you for another memory invoking post.

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    1. you are so very welcome-It seems if I write something, it keeps a record of sorts-and therefore proves it was worthy. Maybe that is just me-but I am glad you visited and that you liked it. am glad you remembered something sweet too.

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  6. We call our place “The Engleville Wind Tunnel”. Right at the foot of the lee of Victory Mountain, door wreaths must be lashed in place, and trash barrel lids are often retrieved from the field.

    Your post brought back a 50-year-old memory. My mom had a box kite, and I took it out to try to fly it. Somehow, I crashed it and broke it. I cried so, thinking that I had broken something that belonged to the most important and revered person in my life. I thought she would be sad. I don’t remember the end of the story, no doubt a laughing mother and a cup of cocoa, and a lot of “That’s alright, Sonny.” I was probably about eight years old.

    I love kites, and always keep a number of them hanging up in the decorations closet. I take advantage of any opportunity to have kids (of all ages) take them out when we get that perfect spring day. One year, a kite got away, and its string stuck in a tall maple. That kite flew out back for several days before it finally disappeared.

    Seek peace,

    Paz

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  7. The kites that are made now days are so much easier to fly than the ones that I grew up with. Those darn box kites were THE hardest ones to get to take flight. When Chris was growing up, grandma bought him an expensive trick kite. That kite would do amazing stunts, while he was holding tight with 2 hands. I love flying kites with my grandkids and when they grow tired of holding them, they are tied to a fence. (The kite not the grandkids!!)
    We’ve had plenty of wind too, now I just need the grandkids. I always had numerous kites in the shed.

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