Carroll Calling

Doug Carroll

Did you feel it, dear readers, that changing of the seasons this week?

You probably paid little attention to the seasonal switch since it did not require turning digital, alarm, wall, body or cuckoo clocks forward one hour. Heck, you did not even have to wake up at 2 a.m., either.

Mother Nature did her thing and it turned out beautiful.

At precisely 5:58 p.m. on Wednesday, the spring or vernal equinox took place in all of its glory to officially quash winter, snow and those infamous gutter icicles Ralphie from the fan-favorite film, “A Christmas Story,” blamed for smashing his glasses. Temperatures are warming, birds singing and regular season Major League baseballs are flying, albeit in Japan only as of yet.

Spring has sprung and my world gradually is turning green again without any interference from Washington, D.C., politicians.

The beginning days of spring have always been a favorite of mine. The college basketball tournament is in full swing, Major League Baseball comes back to rekindle my hopeful Cleveland Indians heart, and the front porch swing at Carroll Castle grows so inviting for both mornings and evenings.

Unfortunately, there is a force in the air threatening to interrupt my start to a joyous spring. The dear wife just handed me a Honey-Do List with enough chores to keep me from fully enjoying this change of seasons.

Do not misunderstand me. These are not spring cleaning chores, although I think a couple fall within a gray area between cleaning and fixing.

She often waits until my summer month off to spring — no pun intended — the list upon me. By then I have enjoyed the fruits of a full spring season and part of summer.

Apparently what needs to take place around Carroll Castle cannot wait until the dog days of summer.

The door to the utensils cabinet drawer fell off last week and my wife says that throws off the whole ambience and fengshui of the kitchen. I’m not sure about ambience, but everyone knows real men dig fengshui.

Light bulbs are flickering and burning out it seems by the dozens despite the fact an electrician claims all is well within the wiring of our 75-year-old house. The wife insists I change bulbs immediately after one pops and goes out no matter the time of day or night.

The digital humidity reading on the living room humidifier is stuck on 32 percent no matter how much moisture spews into the air and she wants me to tinker with the darn thing. I guess she has not learned during more than 35 years of wedded bliss how I tend to make home repairs worse and more expensive when professional help needs called.

On top of all these household tasks, she wants me to clear out the corner of the Carroll Castle dungeon overrun by some 2,100 music and old-time radio CDs. Plus, all this time I can hear groaning whispers from the zoysia grass on the lawn as it attempts to sprout early this year.

Doesn’t she know it is time to watch basketball, baseball and reruns of “The Drew Carey Show” or to spend hours relaxing on the front porch relishing the little kingdom we have forged together on a Vincennes corner lot?

I guess not, but at least I can dream.

Sitting and swaying in the front porch swing is more than relaxation or a waste of an hour or so. It allows me to decompress and live in a world I prefer by taking in the latest episode of the only reality show I care to watch, “My Home Street.”

You must adhere to a few strict rules if you are to take full advantage of what each episode of “My Home Street” has to offer.

First, you are required to leave all cellphones, iPads, Kindles, Nooks, laptops, flip books and battery-operated nose hair clippers in the house. My phone stays on the end table near the living room recliner as it sucks new life from the Carroll Castle power grid through a “Big Bang Theory” charging cord.

Second, take a bathroom break.

Finally, grab a cup of coffee or a glass of your favorite beverage to sip as the opening scenes of “My Home Street” pass by.

So what may you expect to see on a “My Home Street” episode?

People walk or jog past, cars and bicycles come and go in the street and neighbors give you a friendly wave or few words of chit chat. Sometimes rabbits, snakes or an occasional skunk — especially in the month of March — wander out from a 2-acre field beyond the houses across the street, and I say a little prayer the critters survive the daring dawdle or at least prefer my neighbor’s yard if they do make it.

Just call this portion the good, the bad and the stinky.

You probably notice “My Home Street” does not solve any of society’s current problems or offer much personal advice beyond the opportunity to rewind mind, body and soul. I know for some viewers the action will be too mild or pace too slow, except for the times when fire trucks, police cars or ambulances roar past on emergency runs. But that’s what makes the show so vital to me.

Spring has sprung and a new season of “My Home Street” is upon us. Check your local listings, uh, no, make that check your local porches and swings for times and dates in your area.

Doug Carroll can be reached at

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