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"What do you miss the most about St. Louis?", people ask me.
Not the winters. I hate ice, snow and cold
Not the St. Louis summers, with their strings of hundred-degree days. Itís actually cooler here in Florida. Check the temperatures if you donít believe me.
A St. Louis fall is pretty, but sad. It reminds me that winter is on the way.
No, what I miss most about St. Louis is spring. Living in the land of perpetual summer, I donít see spring. Instead, Florida has a riot of flowers all year long. Big, splashy blossoms, heavy with perfume.
Spring flowers are smaller and shyer. They introduce themselves one at a time. First the crocuses and daffodils come out and brave the cold. Then the tulips. I can do without the silly yellow forsythia. It makes me sneeze. But I always wait for the redbud and dogwood, pink and white. They look so brave, blooming alone in the bare Missouri woods.
Spring flowers come with memories. My grandmother dug her own redbud and dogwood out of the woods, marking the blooming trees in the spring with ribbon, then digging them up in the fall. She grew fragrant lilacs by the side door, purple iris in the front lawn and white bridal wreath by the porch.
Spring trees are a tender green that you donít see anywhere else Ė not like the dark leathery green of the subtropics.
Enjoy the St. Louis spring. Both days, before summer hits.
(The opinions expressed are not necessarily those of St. Louis Public Radio.)
Elaine Viets is a freelance writer.