Screen Shot 2014-03-21 at 1.50.06 PMMarch is the month when my thoughts turn to the changes I wish to make to the outside of my home. Anxious to be outside in warmer temperatures, I begin looking more closely at my home as I turn in the driveway. Is it time for me to repaint the front door? How is the stain on the deck holding up? Where might I plant some new flowers? Will I give a vegetable garden another go of it this year?

With yet another winter storm in our forecast (oh please, let it go out to sea?), those of us happy to have seen spring mentioned on our calendars at the very least, continue trying to be patient as we look out our windows and see more white. We long to see the pale pink buds on the trees, and the green shoots of daffodils sprouting in our garden beds, but alas, the white canvas reminds us winter is not done with us yet.

However, when our souls need that splash of color, we can find it easily enough in our local hardware stores. A bright color of paint can be therapeutic when applied to a decorative piece, such as a chair or a small table, or we can be more brave and redo the walls in a bathroom or the family room. Of course, sometimes, as in the children’s story If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, making one change can lead to subsequent changes. One painted wall might beg for a new framed picture which could lead to rearranging the furniture which could lead to a decision to purchase a new ottoman and so on. But change can be good for the soul and, additionally, if you are thinking at all about putting your house on the market, the alterations we make to our homes can help its market value or at the very least, increase its attractiveness to the buyer.

If you are itching to make some changes, whether big or small, give some thought to the resources in your community that can help. The local libraries can point you to books and videos which can help you with the Do-It-Yourself projects. Local hardware stores carry impressive color pallet paint chips and supplies for when you’ve chosen your color. Your neighbor can surely give you the name of a reputable handyman, professional painter, plumber, or electrician. And soon our floral and tree and shrub nurseries will be advertising garden supplies.

It’s not too early to begin planning the work and the joy of spring here in southern Maine! As the snow begins to fall and as we reach for the fleece comforter, let’s turn our attention to the colors that rejuvenate our spirits. I promise you, they are coming!

–Written by: Anne Freeman Walker, a resident of Naples, Maine for the past 22 years.