Someone should write me up in a study for the Journal of the America Medical Association. Scientists need to know about me. They should be observing me. I’m a medical phenomenon.
I have the most severe case of spring fever ever recorded.
Seriously. This could go down in the record books.
As I write this, the sun is shining, there isn’t a cloud in the sky, the temperature is warm without being hot — the day has achieved perfection and I am floating about a foot off the ground. I am totally feverish, in a very good way.
If the lawn people weren’t in the yard at the moment, playing a symphony with their dueling leaf blowers and making my beckoning outdoor spaces temporarily unappealing, there is not a chance in the world you would find me inside at my desk working on this column.
I want to be outside in the sun on my newly mown lawn, frolicking and cavorting. It’s spring! We should all be frolicking and cavorting. If ever there was a reason to add the words “frolicking” and “cavorting” to your vocabulary, the first beautiful days of spring are it.
What a contrast from a few weeks ago, when the word of the day was “gloomy” and I could barely make myself get out of bed, let alone leave the house.
I haven’t had my DNA done, but when I do, I suspect they will find evidence of a hibernating creature in my family tree. I might be part bear. If I followed my instincts, I would climb into a cozy cave in December and sleep for the next few months.
As it is, every year, as winter drags on in its dreary way, I stay awake but my spirits slowly decline. Even as the days begin to get longer, my energy drops lower, like a clock winding down. The only thing that keeps me going in January is knowing we are headed toward the teasing little spring preview we always get in February.
But it didn’t come this year. Instead, it was frigid all February. (Or at least frigid by California standards). It was worse than January, which is quite bad enough on its own.
I was so far undone by our cold February followed by the incessant March rains that by the fourth torrential rain/hail/thunderstorm, I was in danger of slipping into a catatonic state. I was too depressed to move.
But as the doctors will attest when they do their study, those symptoms have now completely disappeared. It’s finally April and the bad dream of winter is behind me.
The clouds scurried away and the sun came out. The temperature rose. My daffodils and tulips and camellias and pear tree burst into bloom. My citrus trees came out from under their freeze protection. The world suddenly feels young and fresh and full of possibilities.
My spring fever is spiking off the scale, and with it, my energy level. I can’t sit still. I want to take a bike ride, go for a hike, dig a garden, grill a burger and sunbathe, all at the same time. I am literally dancing around the house. I’ve jumped up five times just writing this sentence.
In fact, I’m going to jump up one more time and slam the computer shut. The lawn guys have departed and my yard is calling to me.
If you want to hear more about my case, you’ll just have to read about it in JAMA.
Cucumber and Lemon Salad
From “The Scent of Orange Blossoms: Sephardic Cuisine from Morocco” by Kitty Morse and Danielle Mamane
With Passover being this week, I was leafing through my Jewish cookbooks looking for something spring-like and happened on this intriguing salad.
I was wary, because both raw onions (even the sweet ones) and raw lemons can be a bit intense, but their flavors balance out nicely and neither is overpowering with the cucumber. The salad is very refreshing and will be great on a hot summer night paired with grilled chicken.
The yard guys pruned my lemon tree, leaving me with an unexpected harvest, so I substituted Meyer lemons for the more acidic regular ones in the recipe, but either kind will work.
1/2 tsp. salt
2 English cucumbers, peeled, seeded and sliced very thin
1 sweet onion, sliced very thin
3 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1/4 tsp. fresh-ground pepper
1 tsp. dried oregano, lightly crushed
Peel and section the lemons, removing the seeds and white pith. Coarsely chop the sections and place them in a bowl. Add the salt and toss.
In a shallow serving bowl, layer the cucumbers, then a thin layer of onions (you may not want to use all of them) and finally the lemon pieces.
In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, pepper and oregano. Drizzle it over the dish and serve.