Nowadays the requirements are the same - certain notifications are required by statute to be mailed between May 2nd and May 31st. The number of notices that go out is still enormous. However, thanks to automation and third party mail processors, only a handful of us are still affected by the May madness. Many of our employees have no idea what is going on back in the data processing cave. The old-timers even tend to forget, until they see that manic look on my face along about May 15th and they muse, "oh, yes, it's May, isn't it?" and "not such a big deal anymore, huh?". Well, not for them. For me it's still a mad race from start to finish and there have been many years when I had to work on Memorial Day weekend.
But this year I made it to my personal finish line in time to be able to enjoy the 3-day weekend without any sense of guilt. There are still letters to be generated and sent to the mailing service, but the hard part of getting all the files in from the clients and formatted for processing (my part of the work) is done.
Whooo. Deep breath.
I celebrated by hitting two antique malls on the way home and leisurely browsing my way through without checking my watch or mulling over which files were yet to arrive.
When I got home, I took time to smell the gardenias.
It's hard to make out from this photo, but the gardenia bush at the side of the house has been going crazy this week. Each round of blooms lasts about a day. The brown spots are the previous day's blooms. There are tiny little green buds getting ready to open tomorrow. The scent of gardenia is thick and reminds you of the strong perfume your piano teacher wore on those hot afternoons when the air was still and you thought you would suffocate before your hour was up.
Down the street is a magnolia tree that is also emitting strong, sweet scent. Walking the dogs these days takes us from one pocket of perfume to another. This afternoon I was able to fully enjoy the smells of spring and the anticipation of 3 days of rest.