April 10th here in 2016 Rural Hill, Tennessee. The Bradford Pears have bloomed and leafed. The Dogwoods are now bursting in all their glory. The question at this time of year is will we actually *have* a spring?

Of course, we will have a spring. Flowers will bloom, the azaleas will make our eyes pop. Trees will soften with tender green leaves. Wasps will return to stake out their territory (often beneath the hose hanger, which is only a problem if I intend to actually use the hose). The question is will the weather be warm enough for flip flops during the period between April 1 and July 1?

It’s a crap shoot, really. Some years, it’s warm enough for flip flops by late February, others it’s not warm enough until mid-May. Because northern Tennessee is just northern enough to feel the tail end of cold fronts that come down from Canada until the Jet Stream moves itself above New York, we are often playing in our shorts on Monday and back in jackets and jeans on Tuesday.

We don’t complain. Some people live in places like Oklahoma or Minnesota.

This spring appears to be a slow-arriver so we’ll play wardrobe roulette until things settle down.

Also this spring, I do believe I will finish BLESSED CURSE, the paranormal I began last summer. It’s spring in Rugby, Tennessee, too, where CURSE plays out, but Rugby is in the mountains, a totally different weather world than here in the bowl that makes up Nashville and surrounding counties and cities. In Rugby, the Bradford pears would be blooming except that Bradfords don’t do well in the mountains where the freeze line is about four inches deeper than here. They’ll be heralding the redbud and watching for the dogwoods about now.

Rugby is full of ghosts, by the way. AT midnight on December 31st, the manager of the first Tabard Inn dances on the property where the building was set. He dances with his wife whose pearls are lost in the bloody slash across her throat. His face is marred by the bullet hole in his forehead. They sway to the music, perhaps remembering the night he killed her and committed suicide. Mr. Oldfield, who came to Rugby from England, fell in love with the tiny village and then sent for his wife and child, bounces on one of the beds upstairs in Newbury House, Rugby’s premiere bed and breakfast, some nights. Newbury features prominently in CURSE.

Rugby operates as both a place to live if you want peace and quiet more than you want services and convenience and as a historic preserve. They have many activities and festivals year round, including in the spring. It’s a 2.5 hour drive from Nashville through some of the most lovely scenery around. If you go on the weekends, you can do lunch at the Harrow Road Café. If you go any time, you will find cool stuff to buy, great people to talk to and homes built near 1880. During some festivals, these houses are open for your viewing pleasure.

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