Lifestyle

Signs of the times ...

Nancy Hilliard
Around the Island

First, forgiveness — appropriate for the Easter season. John I. Nelson wrote the clever limerick in last week’s “Around the Island,” but leprechauns spirited away the attribution. Great rhyme and rhythm on the Rotary Run, John.

Many local church marquees tell of Christian Holy Week services — symbolizing Jesus’ final days on earth. Messiah music abounds. See our Calendar section that begins on page B6 for details.

At Mercerdale Field, signs promote Parks and Recreation egg hunts, Saturday, March 22 — one at 3 p.m. sharp for ages 1-3, and a Flashlight Hunt for ages 7-10 at 8:30 p.m. sharp. At both, Countrywide Home Loans provides one Golden Egg containing something special, adding to the other “eggstravaganza.”

A sign at Island Books congratulates Aidan Maher, advertising representative at MI Reporter, for successfully translating the Gaelic proverb: “Cha toir a’ bhoidhchead goil ar a’phoit,” or “Beauty won’t boil the pot!” Aidan, an Irishman with a wee bit o’ brogue, teaches Gaelic.

Shamrock flags flew at recent St. Patrick’s festivities at the Roanoke Inn, which featured professional bagpipers, and for the “Paw Promenade” last Saturday from City Hall to Luther Burbank. Connor, Katie, Sumi and Lucky, neighborhood dogs from East Mercer Park, were “dressed to the (ca)nines” in green sequined bow-ties purchased at MI Thrift Shop.

On that note, we must again tackle our income tax returns. AARP Tax Aide is no longer offered to senior citizens at the CCMV, although AARP did present a free class there yesterday, “Protect Yourself and Your Money.” Seniors can phone the income tax assistance line, 1-800-906-9887. Once you begin the taxing task, do sign up for the T’ai Chi Ch’aun beginning classes, April 7 through June 9, Monday evenings — to restore harmony of mind and body.

“Give the Gift of Unwanted Hair [Removal],” reads a sign on 77th Avenue S.E. for Hedman’s Hair Salon. Proprietor J.B. White says it refers to gift certificates for electrolysis, not hair-do’s! Gift certificates, though, are available to style “wanted hair” too, he adds.

A sign inside Chick’s Shoes and Repairs tells us, “Life is too short for tight shoes.”

Local gas stations last week advertised a gallon of regular gas at between $3.52 and $3.59, compared to the national average of $3.22 and $3.36 at a Bellevue Safeway station. But it may not pay to drive the extra miles to make up the difference. It’s a moot point anyway, as gas prices climb even higher.

Mating season: Notice the mad chasing of squirrels, more squirrely than ever? Also, on a Foster Island walk last week, we saw two male mallards exhibiting territorial testosterone, nearly breaking each other’s wings off and twisting necks. The Skagit teems with wildlife as well — seven Islanders saw heron, eagles, raptors, ducks, gulls, snow geese and swans on a winter walk at Padilla Bay, March 1. Reminder: local raccoons’ peak mating period is this month, and a 65-day gestation period can produce two or three kits. Wonder if our new deer population will also multiply?

Spring field days: Community Sustained Agriculture (CSA) programs call for ploughshares now. One work party at Boistfort Valley Farm in Curtis, Wash., this Saturday will help restore the 47-acre organic farm racked by winter floods. Heidi and Mike Peroni are planting regardless. They invite folks March 22 to help prune perennials, cover flower bulbs scoured clean of dirt, pick up garbage along river and road, wash farm equipment, clean chicken yard and set up greenhouses. Hot lunch with farm veggies follows. As many as 50 MI families will enjoy the Peronis’ produce dropped off here weekly, June through October. Contact: dahamakojaru@hotmail.com.

Bursting with color: Fragrant clematis climbs the Wells Fargo arbors. Pungent star magnolias bloom at MI Presbyterian churchyard. Cherry blossoms paint most neighborhoods pink; hyacinths and daffs color roadside curbs; tulips in planters greet Rite Aid customers; pansies and hellebores decorate 78th Avenue S.E. median strips. A flush of rosy camellias form an alley at Starbucks drive-thru.

Alas, six 30-year-old trees were recently sawn alongside Albertsons’ parking lot, but manager John Gillespie says they were meant to last only 15 years and had become hazards. New saplings will replace them, he promises.

To contact Nancy Hilliard, e-mail her at nancybobhilliard@msn.com.

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