The first day of spring was this week. You might think it would usher in warm breezes and a sneak peek at the sun. Well, not in my home state of Michigan. I snapped this shot that day as I got my mail:
Time for a little spring pick-me-up.
My decades-long friend Debi’s family has a fun tradition that takes place each spring. For those of you living in an area of the country where the spring thaw takes place each year and the birds return from the south, you might make this tradition one of your own!
The idea is a simple one: the person in the family who spies the first robin that has returned from the south is given a special prize or treat. It can be a consumable food item or you might even get creative and find a robin figurine (call it your “bird of happiness”!) that’s officially given to that person each year – along the same lines as a traveling trophy.
Now, the person must have a witness. No going out to get the mail and returning inside to exclaim, “I saw three robins in the front yard!” :)
Later in the evening, take the family out for ice cream as a foretaste of the warm months to come. Or you may want an easy, fun, hands-on edible for your family to make—like Robin’s Nests (recipe follows).
One 12-ounce bag of peanut butter or butterscotch chips
One large can of Chow Mein Noodles
One bag of assorted jelly beans, or speckled malt balls that look like eggs
Slowly melt peanut butter or butterscotch chips in microwave, or in a small saucepan on the stove over low heat, stirring often. Stir in chow mein noodles until they are coated with the melted chips. Have the children help you form “nests” out of the mixture. Place on wax paper to set up. Add jelly beans or malt balls for birds’ eggs.