Almost spring — at last 

Published 6:40 pm Friday, March 6, 2020


Life With a Smile

I knew it wasn’t spring. Not yet. Not quite. But when it hit 60 degrees on March 1 and the sun decided to make its first appearance in days — or was it months? —  it was impossible not to feel your spirit lift. 

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There is something about the first blissful days of almost-spring. It doesn’t matter that the winter was mild and that our familial snow pants never left the front hall closet. It doesn’t matter that we live in a temperate climate where the windchill rarely plunges into the single digits. It doesn’t matter that my children outgrew their snow boots without ever having worn them.

No matter its form, winter always overstays its welcome. 

After a couple months of dark and wet and squishy, our collective psyche yearns for the sun. It will probably still be wet and squishy, but at least it will be light again soon. I had friends who lived in Alaska for several years and I cannot fathom how any human survives, much less thrives, in that much darkness. 

I’m far less susceptible to the detrimental impact of seasonal gloom than some. I don’t require specialized lamps to make it through the winter, but when the sun returns, I instinctively turn towards it like an optimistic flower. And speaking of which, I noticed that my tulips are starting to emerge and, as much as I worry that they’re being recklessly overconfident, I welcome the sight each time I pull into my driveway. 

I certainly recognize that we get off pretty easy in the Bluegrass state when it comes to tiresome weather. I lived in India for a year, arriving during monsoon season. Nothing really prepares you for the sight (or smell) of your clothing growing mold in the closet. Nothing molded in our house this winter, apart from the half-eaten peanut butter sandwich I recently found lurking under the couch. 

But I’m still just so ready for spring.

Last Sunday, my children went berserk in the sunshine. Too many consecutive days of indoor recess had been taking their toll on their mental health and they happily tumbled outside to ride their bikes, draw with chalk and sword fight with sticks in the front yard — while wearing swimsuits. 

This wardrobe decision on the part of my two younger children really shouldn’t come as a surprise, given their penchant for wearing shorts year-round, but it still made me laugh. We had just completed a shopping excursion to procure new swimwear for the season and my daughter insisted on wearing the new pieces. Since her suit consisted of stretchy shorts and a tank top, it was easy to say yes. When it’s a beautiful day, why not flaunt your new bright orange tankini while riding your skateboard down the hill?

I need it to be at least 25 degrees warmer before I am tempted to put on a swimsuit outdoors. But even I was so taken with the beautiful weather that I turned through half a dozen pages in the newly-arrived seed catalog before I remembered that I’m a mediocre gardener and had promised myself I’d stick to strawberries, snap peas and green beans this summer. 

The lapse in judgement was forgivable. It’s almost spring, after all.