Monday, April 13, 2009

Apricots and apples

There are blossoms on our apricot tree.

The calendar says it has been spring for about three weeks, and I believe the apricot tree began blooming pretty much exactly three weeks ago. Jonathan and I noticed the blossoms one morning in March as we watched the snow fall out his window. The blossoms obviously weren't there because we had reached some warmth threshhold. I suspect the apricot tree got antsy. It could tell by the position of the sun that we had passed the spring equinox, and therefore it was high time to start popping out flowers.

"Forget this snow," it said. "It's spring. I've waited all winter, and dang it, I'm going to bloom."

The apple trees, on the other hand, are much more cautious. There are signs of new leaves on the apple trees, and hard brown buds that must enclose white blossoms. But so far, none of those buds has burst. The apple trees have decided to wait until it is good and warm before flowering.

"Forget spring," they say, "It's COLD!"

Am I an apricot or an apple?

Classes end on Tuesday, and I've been planning for months what I'm going to do with more flexible time. These four months without teaching are the only months all year I can actually finally take a vacation, and I have two weeks of vacation planned. They are also chock full of conferences and research activities. These four months are the months in which I need to make significant progress on my research, before my time is chained to classes again in the fall. I'll be writing and reading and working hard all summer. You see, I have it all planned like the apple tree. Just waiting until it's a little warmer to start to accomplish.

[And I feel like I have to explain the research thing because people keep asking me why I'll be getting paid if I'm not teaching over the summer. The reason, oh relatives, is because I was hired to do at least as much research as teaching, and I'll be fired if I don't publish strong research papers. However, it's a lot harder to get the research done while classes are in session. So I cram as much of it as possible into the summer months. And they pay me for it.]

On the other hand, I still have two days of teaching, and I still need to write one final exam. Instead, I have been up at Tim's mom's house with the family, enjoying Easter and a bit of pre-vacation. I am an apricot tree, blooming before the winter is really over.

I hope I can still enjoy the fruit in the fall.


Chickadeedee said...

I so enjoy reading your writing. Thanks again.

Mark and Emily said...

This post makes me want to can fruit...