Isn’t Spring Great?

I think it’s safe to say, we are in the throes of early spring where I live.  I suppose it’s possible that we could get another snowfall, but there is little danger of a snow-plowing, school-closing, major headache event at this late in the game.  It’s sort of a shame, seeing as how I just bought Junior a pair of boots about 6 weeks ago. 

I am not a lover of spring.  Out of all of the seasons, it is, in fact, my least favorite.  I guess that makes me like the spring version of the Grinch.  Don’t get me wrong.  As a gardener, I love to see things in bloom and to smell all the blossoms.  I love opening the windows to let in some fresh air.  But spring is complicated.  I used to tell my kids when they were little, “Spring can’t make up its mind.”   What could be wrong with spring, you say?

“Does anybody know what the weather’s supposed to be like today??”  Every day starts with this questions from one of us.  Monday’s high temperature: 73.  Thursday’s high: 45.  One day every window in the house is wide open; the next day the heat is running.  We even had the gas fireplace cranked up last night.  And Junior was so bundled up with long underwear and fake Under Armour that he could barely swing a bat at baseball practice.  Today, I think we’ll split the difference at about 57 degrees, so the heat will run and maybe I’ll fire up the oven in the evening.

What to wear, what to wear.  That brings me to the next point.  At least in this part of the country, there is no orderly seasonal migration of clothing.  I can’t just wash and pack up all the turtlenecks and sweaters and pack them away for next year.  Nope.  They have to stick around and make room for the short-sleeved shirts and capri pants because you never know from one day to the next what clothing will be called for.  Now, if I weren’t so Uncommon, I would just set a date and start wearing shorts.  This is what I see the kids at the bus stop doing.  No matter that it’s below freezing.  If the calendar says March, they’re wearing shorts.  Problem is, I’m always cold.  I don’t like being cold.  I’m gonna wear layers and sweaters rather than freeze.  My solution is to buy a wardrobe of spring-colored sweaters.  Cheery turquoise and pink and apple green distract from the fact that it’s fleece or wool.  Great plan, except for the fact that I don’t have enough drawer or closet space to keep this inter-seasonal wardrobe from spilling out all over the place.

“Mom, we’re out of tissues!”  The dead of winter may be the official cold and flu season, but somehow we do a lot more sniffling at this time of year.  Half of the family are allergy sufferers.  That means, the misery of high pollen count is just beginning.  But isn’t it interesting that every time we go to church, the pews around us are filled with people coughing up a lung, and my neighbors are lamenting on Facebook that their little ones are home from school with strep throat?  That fresh, springtime air does not seem terribly effective at blowing away the germs.

Speaking of blowing away…That whole “In like a lion” thing– it’s true.  I would love to put a nice spring wreath on my front door or some forsythia branches in an urn on the front steps.  Apparently, though, my front entrance is in some sort of wind tunnel.  A gentle breeze gets in there and swirls around like a cyclone, sending forsythia, flags, and even doormats sailing like Dorothy and Toto into the neighbor’s yard.  While I have to contend with this year-round, it seems that spring brings the really gusty stuff that sounds a lot like it’s ripping the siding off the house.

Gentle spring rain? Bah!  Yes, there’s nothing like a lovely “April shower” to bring a mud-splattered dog in the house along with the May flowers.  Quick tip: don’t bother getting carpets cleaned until the summer drought arrives.  Spring weather makes the dog feel like running.  He’s a greyhound; he runs fast.  I’ve resigned myself to muddy dogprints until about mid-June.  Oh, and the corollary: there’s no point in putting down grass seed.  It doesn’t stand a chance when fast-running dog meets soft, spring earth.

“What the…?  Who’s mowing their lawn already?!”  This is not Florida.  No one has any business cutting the grass when it’s still cold enough to wear gloves in the morning while scraping frost of the windshield.  My neighbor over-seeded his grass last fall.  That means he now has a lush, green lawn.  Mine, on the other hand, is still crispy, dead, brown dormant.  Once someone fires up the mower in the cul-de-sac, it’s only a matter of time before EVERYONE starts fertilizing and mulching and mowing.  That means, CRAP!   Weekends are for yard work again.  “What do you mean, the mower won’t start?!”

Target has no business putting bathing suits out front and center in early March.  Some of us spent the winter more or less hibernating.  Some of us were not motivated enough to go outside and power walk in sub-freezing temperatures, trying to get our iPod’s ear buds to fit right under earmuffs and a ski cap while wiping a running nose with gloved hands.  And some of us are so pasty pale that we are only prepared to show skin in increments in the privacy of the back yard until we are sufficiently healthy-glowing enough to bare arms or legs in public.  Besides, in this economy, who is really taking that tropical Spring Break jaunt anyway?

Ahh, spring.

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