It’s mud season. I can even tell when I get home after dark – numerous sets of foot prints trail up and down my carpeted hallway, the most recent set still damp as my four-legged kids race down the hallway to welcome me home. Then there’s a congregation of prints as they prance around, telling me about their day and how much they missed me, wiping the last of the mud on my pants. This greeting is worth the clean up time – it’s only mud, after all, and vacuums up fine when it dries. When I get a day off I see it’s more than mud season – the first avens are greening up, the paths of ice in the dog yard are finally gone, and the bunch grass doesn’t look dead anymore. The buds on the lilacs, I’m sure, are getting fatter. Spring winds have started and it feels almost warm. Puddles in my driveway are gone. The fence has shown up again after months of being buried in gravelly snow by the plow. One of these days, when I get home after a long day at work, the lilacs will be blooming and I won’t remember mud season at all.