Have you noticed? Change is in the wind. And it's not only tumbleweeds.

Lovin Life Graphic

With trees turning green and flowers blossoming, it's nature's perennial rebirth, the time of renewal. Spring gets sprung officially today at 9:35 p.m. when the sun does its thing and crosses the equator. Or is it the earth that does its thing?

Fun fact. On the vernal equinox, the sun rises at due east and sets at due west, so if you're really industrious you should go out at sunrise tomorrow morning and take note of the position of the sun on the horizon with respect to familiar landmarks. Then you will always know where due east or west is no matter where the sun rises the rest of the year.

I know, I know. Everybody has something else on their minds these days, and rightfully so.

But I refuse to let it put a damper on my birthday next week. I'm not saying how many candles should be on that cake, but they're already saying (with apologies to the movie Jaws), "we're going to need a bigger cake."

I'm sure I'll wake up on my birthday one year and look in the mirror and see a Keith Richards or Charles Bronson look-alike staring back at me. Or better yet, Willie Nelson.

Incidentally, I dreamed one time that Willie Nelson and I were talking. In real life, I've never met Willie and have never been to any of his shows, but for some reason, there he was, in that dream. I guess I'm no different from anybody else in that every now and then some celebrity pops up in a dream for no reason at all. Over the years, I've dreamt about hanging out with a rash of actors, presidents, fictional characters, and talking animals. And now here I was with Willie talking about music, biscuits and gravy, and the secret of life. He told me the secret to enjoying life is to not worry. About anything. "Just don't worry," he says. "Things are gonna' turn out the same whether you worry about something or not." Not exactly an original thought, but he's right. Even now. "Just take precautions." (Willie didn't say that. I did.)

Speaking of March, it's time for me to update my driver's license to the Real ID. This isn't a bad thing; it just means walking over to the MVD and then waiting for my number to be called. Just one of those little chores we've got to do when we could be doing something else.

I'm wondering how much of our lives are spent on things that we shouldn't have to spend time doing, but that we have to do anyway. For instance, they say we spend, on average, 25 years asleep, 50,000 hours eating, and so forth. But I'm also thinking of those little tasks that, while not a total waste of time, take me away from doing something fun or productive.

Things like, say, the clipping of toenails. Sure, it's what has to be done, but it's something I sure don't take pleasure in. Especially when trying to bend over my belly to reach them.

And here's another one: brushing your teeth. Now this one, although not required under a state statute like the aforementioned MVD trip, is of personal import. Not only socially but hygienically, and you gotta' do it for two minutes. Or squirt a little hand sanitizer in there.

Same with handwashing. I say don't fret over the empty shelves of hand sanitizers. They may work well on bacteria but not necessarily on a viral thing. Go with warm water and lather up with actual soap. The thing is, the soap (and here I go trying to sound like some kind of expert) dissolves the fatty layer that protects coronaviruses. I couldn't say what the best brand is, but the lye soap my mother made would probably cause the demise of any recalcitrant germ or organism post haste.

Speaking of empty shelves, last week was the birthdate of the man who is said to have transformed the culture of Japan. His name was Momofuku Ando, the guy who invented instant ramen. Frankly, I don't know if instant ramen actually transformed Japan's culture, but if so, the same can possibly be said for the USA as well. If nothing else, it certainly has helped families on a limited budget make ends meet, not to mention keeping millions of college students from starving during finals week.

Truth be told, it's one of my comfort foods. Preferably with a dash of green chile.

All I know is that there was none to be found the last time I went to the store.

Oh, I take that back. There was one lonely package of shrimp flavored ramen stuck way in the back of the bottom shelf. Like it was hiding.

Or self-isolating, as it were.