Today is the first day I feel comfortable letting myself believe that spring is here. I try to be skeptical as long as possible to spare myself any disappointment when I have to get my long johns back out in April. But it’s mid-March and I find myself surprised, yet fully convinced that it’s true: Spring is officially here! A mild winter, an early spring… explain again why people complain about “global warming?” (Actually, please don’t. Seriously…)
This is one of those typical Iowa moments where the weather does whatever it darn well pleases and we just roll with it. I would like to believe that in our state, the weather is actually a legitimate topic of conversation (not just a filler that makes an awkward situation all the more awkward). It is worth talking about because it is interesting and rather unpredictable. One of my high school teachers once described meteorology in Iowa as “a three-legged howler monkey pushing buttons in a control room,” (Petey 10) and I choose to agree with his point of view. (Please note the phony MLA style citation. It felt necessary as Mr. Peterson was a Language Arts teacher. He would be proud.) That taken into consideration, I take deep pride in how well we Iowans understand our weather. We may not know what it’s going to do, but we understand what it’s supposed to do. We can feel storms coming, we can tell when the conditions are right for a tornado and we know to regularly dress “in layers.” And we know that this spring is sudden and early, and everybody is loving it (I know because it’s the hot topic around town.)
There are certain traits that accompany the “clove of seasons” (thank you “The Scarlet Ibis”) and it’s the little changes in behavior make the transition so fun. The following (in honor of my friend David Letterman) is my personal list of how I know spring is here.
Top Ten Signs of Spring:
- 10) Green is becoming the dominant color. (And it’s not because yesterday was St. Patrick’s Day.) The dark green grass has begun to take over, buds appeared on the bushes and trees, and all the patches of perennials I forgot I had are doing their photosynthesis thing.
- 9) I start getting hurt all the time. Nothing too extreme. Just scrapes and cuts and bruises and such, but still, they cover my arms and legs when the weather is warm. Although this can easily be contributed to drastic increase in my involvement in outdoor activities, I sincerely thought I would grow out of this one. Guess not…
- 8) I woke this morning to birds chirping. Actually, that’s the picturesque version of the story. I woke to a single poor bachelor drowning out all the other in his desperate cry for attention. The poor guy, he must be pretty homely by bird standards.
- 7) I started eating more fruits and vegetables. This is a good thing, I am aware, but I still think it’s funny. The warm weather immediately makes me go out and buy grocery store produce, as if it will be better than it has been all winter long. I highly doubt this is true. In fact, being that we just finished winter, the current harvest is probably about the worst produce of the year. Still, I went to the grocery store yesterday and came out with many a fruit and veggie.
- 6) I busted out a brand new razor. I need not elaborate on this topic, I will simply say that if I am going to wear shorts and tank tops, I’m going to need to be presentable (by American standards).
- 5) People tip better this time of year. My younger brother and I have each served at two restaurants and we agree, people start tipping better as spring arrives. It happens every year. My theory is that people are generally happier as the weather improves. The long, cold winter is a dreary experience and people get subtly (or obviously) more crabby toward the end of it. Then comes spring and happiness, and people are more generous with their tipping (which is totally fine by me!) I love waitressing.
- 4) I want to clean. Everything. No dust particle or untidy drawer is safe from my scouring gaze. When I was a child, spring cleaning was a fun little thing I did to feel grown up. Now, it’s a necessity. A natural instinct that I absolutely must obey. I look forward to Spring Break so I can begin Extreme Makeover: My Room Edition. It’s going to look good. Really good. It must.
- 3) I get the chance to “stereo”type people. This means I place them in social class boxes based on the type of music they blare out of their open car windows. (I just came up with that. I feel rather clever at the moment.) In all honesty though, some people are really brave to share their music with the world… or simply don’t realize they are doing so. Either way, I like to start volume battles when I think people ought to be embarrassed by what they are advertising about their music preferences. This, of course, is only when I am willing to own up to my own choice of song.
- 2) I make my New Year’s resolutions. I rarely do these. And if I do, they are more like things I’m interested in trying rather than concrete goals I allow to materialize. Anyway, mid-winter is probably the least inspiring time of the year to start building any healthy habits or learning any new skills. So I start building a better me when the weather gets nice. Just this week I practiced piano, did a workout video, cooked, and engaged in arts and crafts.
- 1) Today, I blew bubbles out of my car window at stops. I will freely admit that I am not a shining example of focused driving (nor of maturity), yet it is true that, each year, bubbles out the window are the ultimate sign that spring has sprung.