Spring Peepers

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    peepThis column, That Nature Show, is about the nature right under your nose: in our backyards, playgrounds and parks!  Stop and look around, you’ll be amazed at what surrounds you.

    Nurse Stephanie I-don’t-know-her-last-name in the ICU at UMMC (which was one of 73 “Top Docs” as recognized by Baltimore Magazine) where Husb. was recovering from his amelblastoma surgery was an absolute knockoff of Zooey Deschanel playing Jessica Day on New Girl. 

    Nurse Stephanie was peppy, she was sunshine, she was let me take your feeding tube out in this hallway, how does that sound, sir? Let’s do this. She wore spunky sneakers. She said things like, “Your husband’s skin graft spurt blood like a Monty Python skit.” But she made me feel competent with gauze; she made me feel like I could handle it, handle everything about care-taking a man with a new walker and cane (“Fly kicks!” she said). Hats off to you, Nurse Stephanie. Thanks for everything.

    There is a funny new smell in the house which is unfamiliar to me. It’s like fully-open daffodils, wet dog, and organ meat and it’s not entirely gross. It’s the scent of Husb.’s wounds healing, which is an interesting cascade of events that I researched on PubMed. Did you know epithelial cells “migrate” to fill an incision with new skin? I didn’t. I didn’t know anything. The chicken thighs I buy are skinless, boneless, and wrapped in plastic. We’re so far removed from reality. And from each other, really.

    When we came home from the hospital in the evening on Wednesday, it was the first day of the spring peepers, the tree frogs that visit vernal pools in the spring.  Like robins, they mean sunny days and warmth are here to stay. Happy Easter. Happy Passover. Happy whatever you celebrate. Me? I celebrate Neo-Paganly, reading the story of Persephone and Demeter, with Nutella on ice cream and loud pop music on the outdoor speakers and a dance that is part Snoopy, part Stevie Nicks.

    My son, now 10 and flush with the new joy of going on sleepovers which I have just allowed him to do, found a spring peeper desperately trying to camouflage itself on one of our deck chairs. “His name is Chirper,” he said. “Can I bring him to Basil’s?”

    Life goes on.













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    1. You are a brilliant writer — I look forward to your first novel (unless I’ve missed it, in which case I will go buy it immediately!

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