Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Winter Daphne and Garden Things

Winter Daphne is, in my opinion, the perfect spring flower because it so epitomizes the spring climate here in North Carolina.  It starts to show the slightest hint of flowers sometime in late January, but it takes its own sweet time getting here.  Every day, I wander by it, stooping down to examine the still-tight buds.  Some days more than others it looks surely like it's ready to bloom, its light pink and white blossoms peeking out from the green foliage, the slightest bit of lemon scent detected, only to close up again at the slightest bit of cool weather.  It's a tease.

Spring here is like that, too.  Gradually warming days, weather forecasts of 50 degrees, 60, maybe even 70!  One day is so delightful that it warms our souls after the bitter cold nights of winter.  The next is chilly again, and we collectively sigh as we're left wondering when?  When will we be able to venture out again?  Feel the warm sun against our skin as we shed our coats for something less confining?  Spread some mulch?  Plant some seeds into the warming ground?  We wonder, with the next warm spell, if we have finally turned the corner on winter once and for all.

And then one day, usually in late February, as I walk through the seemingly still-bare garden, something has changed.  A breeze lifts, mild against my cheek, and at the same time, the most ethereal lemon scent wafts past me on the breeze.  And I know.  The daphne has bloomed!  Spring is here!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Darth Vader

There's been a ton of chatter recently about the Volkswagon Super Bowl ad featuring the little boy dressed as Darth Vader.  It's for good reason - the ad is great.

With it, Volkswagon continues a long history of advertising that really hits the mark, in one way or another, by eliciting an innate human sense within all of us that I think gets lost all too often in today's world.

The current ad features a mini Darth Vader, who runs around the house trying, unsuccessfully, to use the force to affect the objects within his domain - the family dog, his sister's doll, and so on.  Finally, when his father comes home, mini Darth tries his powers on the family car and is mighty surprised when it does roar to life in front of him, thanks to his Dad and a remote key fob being worked from the kitchen.  It's very cute, and it has the unique ability to remind us all watching what it felt like to be a kid.

There's another Volkswagon commercial from many years ago titled 'Pink Moon' that features a group of early twenty-something kids cruising around on a moonlit summer night in a convertible cabriolet.  I love that commercial most - it really evokes such a feeling of being carefree, of freedom, of having no worries in the world.  For anyone who's ever ridden around in a convertible on an early spring night when the air is still warm and felt the air and stared at the stars, they surely know what I mean.

Links to both ads are here:

Pink Moon video

Darth Vader ad