Red wing blackbird singing. Check. Worms on sidewalk after rain. Check. Tiny white Snow Drops in the garden nodding their thanks to the earth. Check.
Whew. It really is Spring.
Oh, every Canucklehead east of the Left Coast knows Ma Earth can still roll up her sleeves and deliver a blizzard if she has a mind. But chances are, she's tired of howling and blowing and wants to put her feet up for a spell. Hope so, anyway. This has been a long winter. They get longer as you get older, I think. (T'il one day you sluggishly realize the chill deep in your bones is permanent - and winter's come to stay.)
Don't misunderstand. I'm very grateful to live in a part of the world that exhibits dramatic seasonal changes. All four are lovely and dressed in beautiful and distinctive garb. All bring delight of one kind or another. But only one seems to overstay its welcome for many of us - the one draped in white.
Yet, if it wasn't for winter how much dimmer would our appreciation be of the seasons to follow? As some dude once wrote in a book that he never pimps* anymore - if you don't know lack, how can you appreciate plenty? (Yeah, I know. Hardly a new or earth-shattering concept. Luckily, philosophy is just a tiny part of the book. There's lots of pictures, cartoons and other stuff that more than makes up for it.)
Just about everything you can think of is more difficult to do in winter than in any other season. Except ski down a hill or skate on a pond. Both of those are way easier.
But other stuff?
It starts first thing in the morning. It takes forever to get dressed in order to walk a Patiently Berserk** Ben because one has to put on 11 layers of clothing. And if one has happened to put on an understandable pound or twenty combatting winter's chill by fortifying oneself with fried perogies and sour cream, well, those last couple of layers can be a bit of a struggle. Remember Randy, the little brother in A Christmas Story whose Mom bundled him up on a cold winter day? He was so overstuffed that he wobbled when he walked. Couldn't see his own boots, just knew they were down there somewhere. The inevitable happened. An errant breeze caught him and he toppled over onto his back, limbs flailing uselessly, helpless as a drunken turtle.
Well, let's just say I'm darn glad I kept my balance this winter. Oh, I teetered. And I tottered a time or two. I tap-danced on icy patches three or four times in an admirably athletic, if somewhat thunder-footed homage to Fred Astaire.
But I did not go down. (Touch wood, praise the lord and remind me to light a candle for next year.)
Now, the trick is to avoid stepping on those silly worms. Which isn't too tough because with temperatures on the modest side, I'm down to four or five layers. If I lean forward just a tad while walking, I can peek past the perogie damage and see where my shoes are going.
Here's Randy The Human Sausage.
* Yet for some reason, the book sold more copies in the last six months of 2010 than in any previous six month period. Now, my folks didn't raise any fools. So, whatever I haven't been doing to not-promote my book, I'm determined to continue not doing.
** Patiently Berserk Ben vibrates constantly but that's not enough to relieve his tension. So, every few seconds he also springs three feet straight up. Impatiently Berserk Ben still vibrates and still jumps, but does so in five or six different locations at once.