Spring Fever

Kage Baker believed in seasonal moods; that they were natural, unavoidable, and ought to be indulged. Not the moods of Nature, necessarily: those were beyond mortal ken or alteration. But the moods of the people living in Nature, those were adjustable. She felt they ought to follow natural inclinations. Especially hers.

Spring fever, summer doldrums, a restlessness in fall. The urge to hoard and hibernate during winter. I don’t think it was an innate sensitivity to the rhythms of her body – Kage had an antagonistic relationship with her body, and tended to ignore it as much as possible.  She just had a set idea about how the various portions of the year should be experienced: and no one had ideas as set as Kage Baker.

It was part and parcel of the blood thinning/thickening thing. I think. The workings of her mind were not always clear, though the results of that working were. However, Kage had preferred habits and patterns that she couldn’t or wouldn’t explain, but clung to stubbornly. I spent most of my life figuring out what she needed to live in peace and creativity, and then explaining it to her and everyone else. There were just ways she liked to be, and she would go to enormous lengths to facilitate those moods.

Every season had its own candle colours and incenses and table linens and decorations and cocktails and festive foods; it changed a bit as the years went on but the basic cycle was well in place by the time she was in high school. And it never changed completely, nor ever stopped. The year rolled along in a constantly renewing pattern of accessories, all designed to promote the specific mood of the house and the season.

Some of them dated back to childhood. Some of them dated back to what she wanted in childhood but didn’t manage to acquire. Kage spent a lot of her adulthood finding and recreating things she had loved as a kid. Old-fashioned Christmas bubble lights, which vanished for years but then seem to have come back into fashion for her. Beistl paper cutout decorations, which had never stopped being made but suddenly became findable again with the rise of the Internet – Kage had best adored the Halloween ones, but before she was done with her ecstatic collecting, we had them for Christmas, Easter, Thanksgiving and St. Patrick’s Day as well. I made her hang the especially villainous leprechaun in the hallway where I didn’t have to meet his leer.

Glasswax holiday designs on the windows: those were one of her biggest successes, because they had gone extinct somewhere in the last 40 years. Momma had always declined to purchase something that had to be washed off the windows eventually; but Kage burned for them for decades. She found the stencils on EBay, amazing amounts of them. She found a Glasswax clone at the Vermont Country Store site. And for the last 5 years of her life, Kage painted Glasswax on the front room windows at Christmas.

Do not think, Dear Readers, that she was alone in these obsessions either. Maybe her degree of mania was a bit higher than mine – it was higher in most things, and higher than most people’s … But I was a willing participant. I’m the reason we had coloured lights up year round, carefully changed out for the various seasons. I rigged my bathroom with faerie lights in place of the overhead, and set up a zombie pirate ship as a night light in Kage’s room – one of those Lemax holiday models, called (I kid you not) The Pillager. Most people think Lemax only makes Christmas villages, but believe me – they do other astonishing things. And Kage loved them.

So do I.  So does Anne, who let Kage paint her windows with Glasswax too. And luckily, so does Kimberly, who was already showcasing coloured lights on her front porch. Oh, maybe I am doing it a bit more now, for sweet remembrance’s sake, but I really like putting up the lights and deco. I just found hot pink LED lights to string on Kimberly’s front porch for Valentine’s Day – and believe, me, pink strings of lights are not easy to locate. Next month I’ll change ’em out for green ones, for St. Patrick’s.  (My brother- in-law, a very patient man,  just accepts this all as an outre form of porch light …)

And if took me longer than usual today today to locate my scattered neurons and get this blog entry up – and, oh, it did – just chalk it up to Spring fever.

About Kate

I am Kage Baker's sister. Kage was/is a well-known science fiction writer, who died on January 31, 2010. She told me to keep her work going - I'm doing that. This blog will document the process.
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4 Responses to Spring Fever

  1. widdershins says:

    Spring? It’s not Spring! I.m not ready for Spring … The Chestnut trees outside my window are starting to bud, and we had a snow flurry this afternoon. What do these trees know that they’re not telling me?


  2. Kate says:

    What the trees know is that Spring is not controlled by our calendar. Unfortunately, neither is the weather and it just doesn’t care what anyone else is doing!


  3. Spring has snuck up on us. First the small bunches of rogue paperwhites, then the apricot tree, and the plum trees. The peach tree is like me(besides old and knarly) refusing to play yet even as the others have succeded blooms with actual leaves. Suprise…
    Snow! See I was right. Not spring. But fiercly close. The Faire whinging has started.


  4. Kate says:

    Ah, Faire whinging. A sure sign of Spring, more dependable than the swallows returning to Capistrano or the buzzards to Hinckley, Ohio.


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