By Namphuong Van
Spring is Here… I think.
Winters in Chicago require the ability to endure extremes, both in temperature and the hassles of snow. The winter of 2013-2014 was the fourth worst in Chicago history. If you have been alive since 1960 you have lived through all four of the worst. I have.
The month of March is two-thirds over and yet we are still seeing temperatures in the teens and the possibility of more snow.
Yet, there is hope. We have experienced a couple days in the fifties; the sun is out much more; daylight savings time is over, the snow is nearly gone; I saw my first robin.
The robin is always my harbinger of Spring. I love to see them and hear their song.
It is amazing how much more alive you feel when you’re exposed to sunshine. It is why I could not live in Seattle. Even though it is beautiful there and the weather is mild and the geography is fantastic; the skies are grey the majority of the time. It is depressing, the grey skies that greet you stare down like an angry teacher, threatening to strike, making you live your day under threat of punishment.
My wife and I have thought, seriously, of moving to Florida. It is the first time that my wife has considered it. She has always hated it, but even she is sick of winter. The thought of living near the ocean and enjoying warm weather year round has enticed her, it is luring her like the smell of bacon coming from the kitchen. “Come to me, come to me.”
The story goes that people from the north are flocking to the south after this winter. We might have to wait a year until the atmosphere calms down. I would still like to travel down there and scope out the territory in search of greener pastures, or at least a decent home in a nice neighborhood, for a reasonable buck, or two.
Would moving to Florida eliminate the joy that comes each year when Spring arrives? Would celebrating Christmas in my shorts diminish the joy in my world? I don’t know. I suppose I would miss the change of seasons, at least for a few days or weeks per year. But we could always travel. I would miss Fall the most. It is my favorite time of the year. I love the weather. Nowhere is it finer than Chicago in October; seventy-five degrees and blue skies await you. The trees put on their yellow and orange gowns, school starts, the football season is in full swing and you approach the holiday season, such a great time to be alive.
It does give one time to pause, doesn’t it? Would I miss it? I’d like to be given the chance to miss it. Like I said, I could always come back and visit. Whereas most people, flock to Florida in the winter to escape the cold, we could flock to the north to go skiing, sit by the fire in a lodge, celebrate the holidays with family and friends, all the while smiling on the inside, knowing we can go home to our warm weather. Kind of like being a grandparent, where you can babysit your grand kids, but know they will go back to mom and dad and you can return to your quiet abode.
Yes, I think I am ready to be a southern gentleman.
Are you sick of the winter? Come on, let it out!