I’m having my coffee on the back porch this morning and (ah-choo!) what a treat awaited me when I got here. Su and Tut cavort throughout the yard trampling the young Fescue sprouts and plowing through my flower beds, crunching over the last of the winter’s dry, fallen leaves and leaping through overgrown monkey grass.

“Right … so where’s the treat?” you say. Be patient (ah-choo!). It’s coming. I think.

The vet shaved King-Tut-the-cat’s rump about a month ago so she could staple him back together. It took eight of them. She said another cat was the culprit and that Tut’s fur would grow back before Christmas. It’ll probably be something else by then.

Tut’s almost 6 years old now, but he’s already used up most of his nine lives. His vet loves him. He’s a very expensive cat.

The quicker-than-lightning pup in pursuit of Tut is a double dapple dachshund christened Suzi-Q. She came to live with us last Halloween and nothing’s been the same since. Better, I think. Tut’s not so sure.

The breeze feels good on my face, but (ah-choo!) it might be a little much. The red buds and the dogwood have lost their blossoms and a zillion yellow flower corpses have cascaded from the Jasmine vines I planted against the fence four years ago.

Two or three trash bins worth of dead oak leaves remain in corners awaiting the yardman’s rake. Probably more, not counting the ones that swirl about my feet as I sit here with my coffee … on my back porch … breathing in the spring air … heavily laden with pollen and, very likely, mold. (Ah-choo!) And what are those millions of tiny seed pods covering the porch that I vacuumed just yesterday?

A single daffodil fades in the nearest flower bed and chrysanthemums sprout green clusters of rebirth at the base of last year’s dry, scraggly growth.

Su races in circles about the yard, then clears the monkey grass bordering the brick walkway, enjoying the crunch of her lightning-fast feet through the dead leaves mounded there.

Tut jumps down from his retaining wall perch and ambles toward the bamboo patch. In his imperious way he’s inviting Su to a scuffle, and there she goes. She’ll nip his ears and then his tail with her sharp little teeth, and he’ll roll over and yowl in mock dismay. I don’t rush to his defense anymore. It’s a ploy.

The trumpet vine climbing the far corner fence reaches its mass of thin witch’s fingers for a chink to cling onto. Its skeleton will fill out to consume that space and destroy the fence if I don’t cut it back. But I will. Maybe tomorrow (ah-choo!). If not, then maybe the day after that.

The thing about yard work is you either do it when it needs doing or else it gets away from you. The tulips and irises I failed to cut back last summer are struggling to bloom, and that single daffodil could be the last. The lilac bushes tried to bloom and I wish they could have. I like lilacs. I’m sorry that someone before me planted them where the merest sunlight trickles through.

Uh-oh! Here come my companions, winding themselves about my ankles … nuzzling my neck (ah-choo!).

A wrought iron flower bed girl that I bought at Edmond’s Downtown Arts Festival last May raises her arms to the sky. The cutout letters in her middle proclaim LIFE IS GOOD, and this morning she could be right … or it could be that my allergy meds are making me giddy (sniff-sniff).

(Marjorie Anderson is an Edmond resident.)

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