Sunday, May 31, 2020

"Spring Plays Peek-a-Boo" published in YCN, May 2020

Photo by Stephen Hassler, editor of Your Country Neighbor

Spring Plays Peek-a-Boo
By Janet Sobczyk, 2020

The weather is a popular topic for people all over the country, but I suspect Midwesterners can one-up most weather conversations.  In the Midwest we have four distinct seasons which change not only every few months but often several times a day. I’m not sure other parts of the country have those bragging rights.  

I was born in Arizona and my weather memories there range from sunny and warm to sunny and beastly hot. I remember one December there was a trace of snow that melted immediately. Everybody in the neighborhood was outside snapping black and white photos.  

Here in the Midwest we know what to expect from three out of four of the seasons. In summer it’s hot or stormy. In fall it’s crisp and beautiful or rainy and gray. In winter it’s long, cold, and can be measured in inches.  

During winter there can be a day or two of spring-like weather, usually in February. Then the next day a blizzard strikes and people grumble because they had false hope that it would be spring soon. But spring plays games with us. All through March and April it peeks in to make an appearance… and then winter hip-bumps it off the stage. Spring doesn’t give up. It sneaks around the curtain and tries to steal the spotlight, until jealous winter notices again. The game is on!  

In spring people are excited to plant flowers and gardens, but don’t be fooled! There’s a rule that I’ve ignored too often: wait until after Mother’s Day to do the planting. I’ve thought that a few warm days in a row were the start of spring. Time to plant my geraniums and put away the parkas! Two days later, “Wrong again,” I think, making a mad dash to bring in the flowers and dig out the coats.  

I’ve seen people leave the house in shorts and flip flops in March and April after a couple nice days, thinking it would be hot by noon. Nope! At the end of the day they come home to make soup and wear fuzzy socks with flannel pj’s for a few more nights.    

Even nature gets fooled. The daffodils and crocuses rise up demanding to be the first to show off
their finery, only to get hit by frost and slump miserably to the ground. Robins return, grow round-bellied, and start to build nests. Then bam! They get slammed by a snow shower and huddle together glaring, as if to say, “Whose idea was it to come back this early?!”        

I truly feel sorry for them. Mother Nature leads them astray year after year. Birds are so gullible.

Click here to see Your Country Neighbor's May edition online

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