Friday, April 5, 2013

Welcome spring, finally...

Spring began on March 20, and when that date was approaching, I was waiting on it with breathless anticipation. I do not like winter, and when it goes away, it is like being released from an odd form of prison. I feel that way for a number of reasons, but I will not be sharing any of them in this column.
When spring hits, it literally is a breath of fresh air most years. Temperatures quickly moderate and we see lots of color sprouting around us. Charcoal is replaced by blossoms.
With this in mind, I have been quite disappointed with how this spring has begun. It did not begin with a bang last month because it was cold and we even had a little bit of snow during the first few days. High temperatures in the thirties were not what I was fantasizing about while I was lingering in my winter cell.
However, this is not unusual. It is not realistic to expect spring to begin with 80-degree temperatures and trips to the lake. In fact, I can remember some March weather that ranks right up there with the most severe winter weather we have experienced in this area.
For example, the Superstorm of 1993 dumped more than 10 inches of snow here and that took place in the middle of March. Technically, it was still winter, but it was an example of how weather can march to the beat of its own drum.
Now that we have segued into April, spring seems to be climbing out of its funk, but I am not entirely satisfied. The average high temperature for this point of the season is in the mid to upper 60s, and we seem to be having problems hitting that with consistency.
I am looking for those glorious days where it is still cool enough to wear a sweatshirt but warm enough to wear shorts. When looking around me, I see some people have already reached that point. I am happy for them, but I still have to wear a light jacket when walking out to the mailbox. Maybe my delicate pink skin is getting too sensitive as I age.
Spring brings simple joys that often cannot be experienced in winter. For example, I enjoy mowing my lawn. While some may scoff at that being a simple pleasure, I like getting out there and pushing that little mower around.
Of course, I do not have a very big yard, so maybe that is part of why I enjoy it. It is not too big to become a nuisance.
However, the bigger point is the season allows us to get outside more and rid ourselves of the claustrophobia that being in the house can bring. ‘Claustrophobia’ is probably too dramatic of a word to use, but I do not like being cooped up. A couple of walks around the block is about the best tonic there is if a person has had a bad day. And it is tougher to do that in the dead of winter.
Sure, there are plenty of places to exercise indoors, but it is not the same as being engaged with nature. Spending a couple of hours just walking around a place like Old Stone Fort is infinitely healthier than mindless time on a treadmill.
Not that time on a treadmill is entirely bad. After all, some exercise is better than no exercise, and if a treadmill is all a person has, then he should go for it.
So, it is only a matter of days before spring completely comes out of its shell. Let us hope it is sooner rather than later.

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