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Elizabeth Woodworth: Find ways to pick yourself up, since spring's not here to do it

By Elizabeth Woodworth
Contributing writer
updated: 3/24/2019 4:56 PM

Don't expect mild weather with the arrival of equinox. The full Moon close to perigee pretty much guarantees cruel conditions. Frosts could be over for the winter along the 40th Parallel, but an average year brings about 20 more to Northern gardens.

This is a good time to seed and feed the lawn. The Moon is at perigee, its position closest to the Earth on the 19th. March 20: The Cabbage White Butterfly Moon is full. This is the third supermoon of the year. The Moon and Earth will be 224,173 miles apart. Equinox, and the first day of spring, the latter according to the calendar, but who knows. The Sun enters Aries on the 21st. (Countryside)

I was surprised by signs of spring when I went to Massac earlier this month. Naturalized daffodils were blooming on the road sides, in old house places and under the scrubby growth in no longer used fields. Didn't see any in Saline or Pope Counties, didn't realize that Massac was that much further south. Did see lots of water. The Brownfield Road is a lake from the highway to the hill. 145 wasn't under water in the flat, but one good rain and it will be closed. The creeks in Metropolis are backed up, saw lots of cars on one side of the pond, houses on the other.

The park is closed. I have seen water close the gate at the large pavilion and campground roads, but never have I seen the one by the visitors center closed. In fact I have only known the park to be totally closed once. That was after a huge ice storm brought down so many trees that the roads were impassable. What worries me, we have spring rains yet to come.

Soon to come: The Saline County Homemakers annual Chicken and Dumpling dinner. March 31, at the Pruett Building, serving 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Menu: Chicken/dumplings, bacon-seasoned green beans, coleslaw, dinner roll, drink and Homemaker made dessert. Adults $8, children 6-12 $4. Eat-in or carry out. (Quart of chicken and dumplings $5.)

Apollo 7: Oct 11, 1968, 11:02:45 a.m. The first successful crewed Apollo mission was met by perfect weather conditions. Systems operated normally with few hitches. The team, however, experienced discomfort when they developed colds and had to learn to deal with mucus, which would not drip out normally in the zero gravity conditions. The team also was able to make the first live American TV broadcast from space. The images were crude but educational. The team was in space for nearly 11 days, which is longer than a journey to the moon and back. This journey would clear the way for lunar orbit missions to follow. Crew: Walter Schirra Jr., commander; R. Walter Cunningham, lunar module pilot; Donn F. Eisels, command module pilot. Altitude 141.65 miles. Orbits: 163 revolutions. Duration: 10 days, 20 hours, nine minutes, three seconds. Distance: 4,546,918.3 miles. Landing: Oct. 22, 1968, 7:11:48 a.m. EDT, Atlantic Ocean.

Change your mood (since it appears that Spring will not come in time to do so.) Veg out: plant-based foods like fruit and veggies feed the good bacteria in your gut that help produce mood-regulating neurotransmitters like serotonin. Fresh or frozen both work. Laughter: Reduces stress and overrides other emotions in the moment.

Laughter has been shown to act similarly to antidepressants by raising serotonin levels. Change your routine: one tweak that takes minimal effort, make your bed if you don't already do so. It's a form of self-care and a way to tell yourself that you matter. Or wash the snack dishes before going to bed. Waking up to a clean kitchen, makes you smile. Walk the happy walk: People who walk as if they were sad, slowly without a lot of energy or body engagement end up feeling sadder. Happy people walk with an upright, steady torso and swinging arms. Act Happy to be happy!

There was a picture in The Southern of a grounds employee trying to clean up gumballs. It is a pretty tree, a good shade provider, but so messy. Nut trees drop their fruit and humans or animals harvest them. Gumballs just lay there in wait for an unwary person. Know a lady who took her doctor's advice to get more exercise. She walked a loop, was half a block back to her house, stepped on a gumball that rolled under her food, broke her ankle in three places. We used to make wreaths and snowmen from them, but that only takes a few, not the hundreds that the trees produce. I don't think crafters bother with them anymore. We learned we couldn't make a dent in the number.

"When your children are teenagers, it's important to have a dog so that someone in the house is happy to see you." (Nora Ephron)

• Elizabeth Woodworth lives in Harrisburg.