Kay Brown came for begonias and brought Pam Taylor with her for company. They have not yet gotten past the yard statues at the garden center's front entrance.
"This is just the tip of the iceberg," says Taylor, clearly elated to be at King's Gardens on Nicholasville Road, about to venture into a world that has been closed to her since late fall.
Since then, she has endured the most annoying of winters. She's due this lingering, languorous stop at the water features. And then on to the flowering trees and eventually the begonias.
Marti McGinnis is hauling a flat of purple and yellow pansies out to her hand-painted van. She's due some of King's vibrant pansies, she figures.
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"I had to earn them," she says. "I had to collect all the manure and spread it. When I got too tired to spread more, I came here."
She came, in part, to price a redbud tree to replace the one the ice storm killed in her Nicholasville yard. (She'll report back to the husband on the cost; she's just the price spy.) But she is determined to leave with the pansies to plant "anywhere" she wants because, at long last, she can.
The first Sunday in spring 2009. We are all due it.
Some can hardly contain themselves on a beautiful sunny day with temperatures climbing into the mid-60s.
There is Terry Layman over in Idle Hour mowing his lawn in an interesting wave pattern. Truth be told, the lawn is just a side attraction: He's an edge man.
"I can't stand when grass goes over the sidewalk," he says. So there he is, for the first time this season, making himself a "happier man. I can work this week knowing this is not on my mind."
He admits, of course, to having long-term projects on his work list but it's the first weekend. First things first: edge.
Only a few doors down, Kandace Potter's driveway has become an all-day art gallery. She's trying to finish painting a dazzling life-size Saddlebred horse for Louisville's Gallopalooza charity auction.
Her husband, Greg, meanwhile, has been admiring her work on the fiberglass horse while sawing down bushes, killing a snake and installing a toilet seat — that last item, admittedly, out of eyeshot of the neighborhood.
Kandace is thrilled with the warm weather, the faster to make her acrylic paint dry on Go Star Go, a horse that has been "every color but mostly blue," she says.
Greg is thrilled with having gotten out of his house's crawl space alive.
"This is not an original thought," says Steve Froehlich, out with his 7-year-old, Isaac, "but we thought we'd fly a kite today."
And so they are at Jacobson Park, with Isaac running as hard as he can, as fast as he can, as far as he can, with his red and purple kite staying up behind him as long as he keeps going.
Isaac says he likes his kite because "it's not the most popular" kind and "it doesn't fall down so easily."
Behind him, the Bluegrass Soaring Club is sending up small remote-control aircraft and a large glider that is catapulted into the sky, able to stay up for a half-hour by finding the right current and riding it.
On the same large hill, 10 kids play Frisbee football. Over the hill, several dozen climb on the play equipment.
Toward the reservoir, Malik Salih and Ivy Caulder are having a picnic for their four children, ages 1 to 10. Salih is the sous chef at The Pub, and this is his one Sunday off in as long as he can remember. Salih says next time he's going do the cooking, er, grilling. "Real men grill," he says, smiling.
Real men apparently also fish. Shaun Haddix has caught eight in the park's lake; Kenny Berry has caught seven. Everything has been sent back into the water. Too small. This is just practice for the big-pay lake tournaments.
But it is really about enjoyment, relaxation. They've been here since early morning and might not quit until dark.
Just across the water, up on the grassy rise, golf carts whiz by. Above them, a little to the east, the glider, the kites, the Frisbees. Around them, the giggling kids, the wet wipe-carrying moms and dads.
All of it all, different ideas of a good time, but with the same goal: Sweet spring. No sweat.