Wish I'd Said It

Weeds are flowers too - once you get to know them.

- A. A. Milne

Monday, April 04, 2011

Bye-Bye Winter (#237)

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.


Anvilcloud said...

Generally, I agree about winter, but I wish it could be a wee bit shorter. It's as though it takes up about half the year.

I did go down this winter and order trackers (for my shoes/boots). Hopefully, they'll keep me upright next winter as it falling hurts these days.

Hilary said...

Well geesh, somebody has to be promoting your your brilliantly informative and very amusing book with the clever and catchy title What Fish Don't Want You To Know.. You're welcome. ;)

It sure is nice to see trees budding and grass greening up. Big sigh of relief here too.

Your post made me laugh.. often. Thanks for that. :)

Leah J. Utas said...

"...the chill deep in your bones is permanent..." Ooh Frank that is delicious in a shivery way.

Bruce Robinson said...

Two words, Frank.


Unknown said...

I love your take on the winter season, it made me smile. In fact, this is a darn good post Frank!

Reb said...

Great post Frank, even if we still can't see grass yet! We can see pavement and puddles though and that is a good sign.

Cay Sehnert said...

Very nice and all, but only in March in L.A. can you catch a rear-view mirror glimpse of snow-overloaded mountains while enduring 104 degree madness on the freeway. We get our seasons two at a time. Very confusing.

Linda at To Behold The Beauty said...

Good post, Frank. I smiled all the way through, especially when reading about Patiently Berserk Ben and his antics. He's a very entertaining little guy. I, too, love the four seasons and am glad to see winter melt away into spring. But soon I'll be complaining about the heat and the worms on the sidewalks.

Pauline said...

Permanent bone cold, windmill-wheeling on ice, too many layers of wool over too many layers of food... yep, winter at its funniest.

I'll trade one of your books for one of mine ;)

Frank Baron said...

Anvil, let me know how those trackers work out for you next year. I may invest myself. Thanks for the visit.

Of course, Hil! You mentioned it a couple of times last year! That's it! Thanks muchly. :)

Leah, if you think you can use the line, you're welcome to it. :)

Yep, Bruce. I love baseball. It's another most-welcome sign of Spring.

Thanks, Gaston. Glad you enjoyed. :)

Thanks, Reb. I'm glad you're seeing signs out west too.

Cay, I've a hunch there's lots about California I'd find confusing.

Linda, I'm with you when it comes to whining about the heat. I wilt easily. But we have a month or two of grace before we have to worry about that. I hope. :)

Pauline, I'll check out your books. We might have a deal. ;)

Skunkfeathers said...

I, too, appreciate four distinct seasons. Even as the winter part becomes a bit more onerous with each passing year.

Then again, here in Colorado, winter, spring and summer have a tendency to do a little 'horse trading' at some of the most curious times. Take last weekend for example: Saturday, 83 degrees for a high. Sunday, near freezing, and snow. This meterological mental health disorder will continue as late as June.

However, I'm not sausaging just yet ;-)

Kappa no He said...

Canucklehead, ha!

And I've got your book on TitleZ and noticed it was going like hotcakes recently too. I'm doing my "non promotion" wrong. You need to teach me how. (^ ~)

Dianne said...

I'm just sitting here picturing Ben springing up in the air
makes me smile

I love that snowsuit kid
one of my favorite scenes in a favorite movie

welcome spring!!

Frank Baron said...

Skunky, I think some of your Colorado extremes are like those of your Rockies brothers to the north. I know when the Chinook winds blow in Alberta, the temps can swing 50F degrees in hours.

Terrie, I haven't heard of Title Z. I gather it's a sales tracker eh? Your book is worthy of long-term, steady sales too. And I hope that turns out to be the case. Btw, my self-promotion guru is J. D. Salinger. ;)

Dianne, Ben's a smile-provoker all right. And it's one of my favourite movies too. :)

June said...

I have no visible worms here, but the redwinged blackbirds are back and singing their hearts out, thank God.
I have always felt the way you do: without winter would spring be as beautiful? I'm beginning to think that it would be. Or maybe if winter could shorten itself from five or six months to two or three... Whom do I call about that?
By the time the reasonable weather returns, I am always hanging on by the very tips of my cracked and broken fingernails. I don't know about my toenails. I lost sight of them some months ago. :-\

Frank Baron said...

June, sounds like those blackbirds arrived just in time for you too. I trust you're basking in today's fine, 10C sunshine. I know I am. :)

Thanks for the visit.