The Diederich Journal

Spring 2003

"Spring is sprung, the grass is riz
I wonder where the birdy is?
The bird is on the wing, but that's absurd!
Everyone knows, the wing is on the bird."

-- Ogden Nash

Growing up, my dad would recite that poem every spring. Actually he continues to recite it to me each spring, always asking if I can name the poet who penned it. Although as I recall Dad's version had only three verses and went:

"Spring has sprung,
the grass is riz,
I wonder where the flowers is"

I'm not sure which version is correct, especially since I just downloaded the first from someone's personal Web site. Some maniac's most likely. So I'll stubbornly stick with Dad's odd version.

Here's a photo of Noriko, who is walking out to the street for a better look at the flowers she just planted under the steps to our front door. (It takes me about 2.3 minutes to cut our front lawn. The backyard makes up for this, however. It takes me a whopping 15 minutes to cut.)

Speaking of spring, in Japan one sure sign of spring is the appearance of cherry blossoms and "o-hanami" (cherry blossom viewing). In keeping with this fine tradition, I planted a cherry tree in my backyard a couple years ago so I could enjoy my own o-hanami. Here's a link to a story I wrote about o-hanami a few years back when I lived in Japan.

Another sure sign of spring is that the days are getting longer and the rains have just about stopped here in Northern California -- not to return again for another six months or so. Nothing but blue skies ahead (San Francisco's fog doesn't ooze into Brisbane, fortunately).

In other exciting news, I've started my vegetable garden (the world's smallest) and look forward to feeding the snails and assorted varmints that lurk about our backyard throughout the night. But if they decide to leave some for us humans, Noriko and I look forward to having fresh lettuce, a variety of tomatoes, snap "super snappy" peas, basil, oregano and chives.

Noriko is not much into vegetable gardening -- she loves flowers, odd grasses and other non-edible plants (I have a suspicion some are actually weeds but I don't want to upset her).

In still other news (but this news really is exciting), I recently became aquatinted with the first Diederichs -- other than my mom, dad and sisters -- who are actually related to me. This festive occasion is thanks to cousin Lynn "yes it can be a man's name too" Diederich and cousin Mary Diederich Ott, who researched the family tree and posted it all on the Internet at this Web site.

In the last three months or so my dad became reacquainted with his first cousins -- John, Jean and Ann Diederich -- for the first time since there were kids.

Dad's dad (my grandfather) and their dad were brothers. Here's a photo of them together. My grandfather, Thomas Anthony Diederich (the 1st) is on the left. His brother's name was Richard. Click here to see more Diederichs from yesteryear.

Sadly, both brothers died rather young of unrelated ailments. But you can see the photos of Dad Diederich along with his cousins John, Ann and Jean in my Family Album section.

OK, enough for now. More later.