Lions, Lambs, and Spring Break

March 6 at USF. I’m counting this as “In like a lion.”

The March saying goes, “In like a lion, out like a lamb” or “In like a lamb, out like a lion.” But what happens when it’s lion in and lion out? South Dakota weather can feel that way some days. Well before the snow melts, I’m looking for a small sprout or seed to plant, anything to green up the gray days of early spring. This year, I traded seeds for paint and plants for brushes, and using the Neapolitan series by Elena Ferrante as my inspiration, I renovated my bedroom. I painted it “Sea Glass” and bought a furniture set called “Summer Breeze,” tossing in a Tommy Bahama comforter for good measure. I bet you can guess what I was thinking: island retreat.

My all-time favorite series

Short of an airline ticket, a nanny, and permission from my university, I’m not sure how else I’d get away right now. So I’m reading a lot of books in my new bedroom. Books have been my one-way ticket to all-inclusive delights for many years now. The blue-green paint and new bedding are just upgrades to my accommodations.

If you’re a college student, you might be lucky enough to take a spring break this month, and if you’re a teacher, you might be lucky enough to hear about one. I get to listen to all the exotic places my students will be traveling the next two weeks (and how their travel plans will be interrupting our normally scheduled programing). Sometimes, seven days just aren’t enough. I completely empathize.

Okay. So I bought ONE plant.

In Passport to Murder, Professor Prather is about to embark on the spring break of a lifetime. Prather is traveling to Paris for the week with a group from the university. Unfortunately, murder ensues midflight, and a colleague’s death brings her back to Copper Bluff—and reality. However, Emmeline decides she doesn’t need a trip to Paris to lift her spirits. She has a mystery, her beloved Copper Bluff, and her dear friend Lenny Jenkins to make it a spring to remember.

The Woman in the Window is on my spring break reading list. I save nail-biters for those late nights!

Like Em, I dream of getting away but soon realize books take me just about every place I want to go. Right now I’m reading a steamy historical romance that takes place in 1806 Scotland. How much farther away from South Dakota could I really get? Which reminds me of a quote I recently discussed with my classes. Frederick Douglass wrote, “Once you learn to read, you will be forever free.” Although he wasn’t talking about fiction, he might have been, for it also has the ability to free you from so many things: tedium, circumstance—even location. All I have to do to escape the remains of South Dakota’s winter is open a book and go anywhere this spring break takes me, no passport required.


Do you have any plans this spring, readers? Let’s hear them!


  1. Rhonda Lee on March 10, 2018 at 6:40 pm

    Just enjoy the sunshine and warmth, while I’m outside checking on my perennials. Seeing the green grass again

    • Mary Angela on March 10, 2018 at 10:14 pm

      I know what you mean, Rhonda. It’s so nice to see the grass again after a long winter.

  2. Ta`Mara Hanscom on March 14, 2018 at 11:50 am

    Inspiring Blog, Mary! Thanks for posting it! I can’t wait for the snow to melt and the sun to shine for more than just a few hours at a time. And I can’t wait to see your new decor. I bet it’s fabulous.

    • Mary Angela on March 14, 2018 at 4:08 pm

      Thanks for stopping by my blog, Tammy. Isn’t the sunshine great today? It’s starting to feel like spring.

  3. Samantha on March 27, 2018 at 3:03 am

    Hi Mary!
    I cannot wait to get my hands in the dirt!! I love gardening and winter is hard for me. Soon enough we will be outside in the nice, warm weather! I love your new bedroom set. It looks very cozy, just like your Professor Prather series! I also like to use reading to escape the real world. I enjoy getting lost in a good fantasy/sci-fi novel.

    • Mary Angela on March 27, 2018 at 9:15 am

      Hi Sam! I love plants and flowers, so I’m with you there. I can’t wait to start digging in the dirt. Hopefully you make your yummy salsa again this year!

Leave a Comment