Bill Moeller Commentary: Waiting for Spring


If you’ve lived in Western Washington for any length of time, I think I’m safe in saying that this is a time of frustration for you.

We’ve had snatches and pieces of just enough sunshine to be able to hope that spring might be a little early this year while — at the same time — we know darn well that it won’t. 

It could be called “Northwest Teasing” and every old timer would know just what that meant.

We might have two days in a row (maybe even three) when we can walk through the yard without a heavy work coat on our shoulders and spot one or two renegade bulbs that have defied nature and are actually showing a bit of color! 

There are two signs that I consider the beginning of spring. 

The first is to hear the love call of one of those tiny “tree frogs” that somehow has lived through the winter and it is the signal that we soon will hear the first calls of larger frogs in search for a mate or two. Their chorus will continue well into summer if we can judge by last year’s choral event. 

The second sign of spring is one that I’ve not partaken of for several years now — and I miss it. 

That’s spotting the golden glory of what is known in this part of the nation as “skunk cabbage.”

I remember that there was one location where one could always count on seeing a nice large batch of them and that was on state Route 6, across from where the old bridge used to be the entrance to Rainbow Falls State Park.

If I thought my aging small pickup truck could stay together long enough to make a trip there and back, I’d do it. 

There must be closer locations where a patch of those yellow blossoms can be seen.  I’d sure appreciate an email to the address at the bottom of this column, telling me if you know such a location.  Or, if you wanted to lead me to it, I’d even spring for ice cream when we get back.

At this point, I feel I must insert a notice that something strange has just occurred, but it will have to wait until next week to share it with you. 

In the column space that’s left, I wanted to bring you up to date on the raising of Sam, my furry young housemate.

He’s about a year-and-a-half old now, which probably equates to a teenager in human terms.

By that, I mean, he thinks he knows everything he needs to know and he acts accordingly. 

I’ve never been able to find out where he spends so much time during many daylight, and some evening, hours but at least he’s sleeping on the sofa each morning.

I miss finding him on my bed each morning though. He has his own door to safely enter our home at his convenience. 

He seems to be abandoning his former manner of having fun by sharpening his claws and teeth on my hands and wrists but it took over a full box of Band-Aids before we reached that point!  

We did have an interesting encounter a few days ago; I was repainting the shelves inside the small greenhouse in our backyard when he ran in at full speed, leaped onto the shelf I was working on and walked the length of the freshly painted, wet board before I shouted “no” at the top of my voice. I was loud enough to cause my next door neighbor to rush over and see if I was all right. 

Needless to say, Sam and I have patched up our differences and we await whatever our next adventure will be. Spring is coming?


Bill Moeller is a former entertainer, mayor, bookstore owner, city council member, paratrooper and pilot living in Centralia. He can be reached at