Spring is upon us, and, even though you know how much I adore the winter, I am as thrilled as anyone to see crocuses popping their little purple heads out of the once snow-laden soil.
Not to be a spoilsport, but spring is not all daffodils and baby chicks. Like the other seasons, spring has its little quirks. Some of which make me, at times, remember with fondness the soundproofing action of my storm windows.
Most of us are familiar with the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical, “The Sound of Music,” where the alpine hills are alive with the mellifluous voices of innocent children sweetly singing their cheerful songs. You know: doe-a-deer, brown paper packages tied up with string and all of that stuff.
One recent morning, when I awakened, it was not so much to the sound of music as to the cacophony of birds with no apparent volume control (or manners), the shrill tones of the neighbor’s wood-chipper-machine, bleating foghorns and screeching seagulls. Add to this the premature appearance of the ice cream truck, with its hauntingly sinister tune emanating from within its frosty interior.
OK, so the ice cream truck obviously doesn’t come around before 10 a.m. It was a Saturday – and I am not ashamed to confess that I am not an early morning brand of person. Neither are my three children, nor, for that matter, was their father. Their school attendance record will attest to this genetic predisposition, and I hope and pray that the administration reads this and acquires a deeper understanding of our night-owl pain. The fact that school begins before noon casts a cloud over our otherwise rather happy existence.
But I digress.
If you ask me, the ice cream guy was pushing the season a bit. As was the adorable elementary school-aged girl with her lemonade stand set up on the side of the road. I am all for children earning their own spending money, and have supported many a young entrepreneur’s blossoming career, in addition to the money-making endeavors of my own three lovely children. However, if you’re going to sell lemonade, please wait until the leaves have burst into bloom on the trees, or you will most certainly risk losing the generous patronage of most of your neighborhood adult customer base by the time the summer arrives.
I’m sure Bill Gates wouldn’t have sold lemonade in April.
All winter, people along the northeastern seaboard complain about the gray skies, the abundance of snow and the arctic temperatures. We eagerly await the arrival of spring, which, here in Maine, can be quite a long, drawn out and often-painful process. It’s not unlike a pregnant woman patiently awaiting the arrival of her bundle of joy for nine months, only to then endure two additional weeks of baby-less-ness.
Waiting 14 more days for your baby to arrive is only a notch or two harder than awaiting that first day of flip-flop weather in the great (but chilly) state of Maine. As a woman who has now lived through six Maine winters and given birth to three children, I can attest to this fact.
Last week, our waiting paid off, and it finally became so deliciously warm outside that I danced through the house, opening every available window. I was a woman with a mission: to allow as much fresh air inside as possible. Sleeping with the bedroom windows open for a few consecutive evenings after having been hermetically sealed in your home all winter is a lovely thing.
Of course, much like new love, this blissful state of springtime euphoria is short-lived. The honeymoon is over all too soon as you suddenly find yourself prematurely awakened at 5:23 a.m. by the sun exploding into your bedroom windows and gangs of birds engaging in squabbles akin to something between the Jets and the Sharks in “West Side Story.”
Spring has sprung. The snow shovel is packed away and heating oil bills won’t be sullying my mailbox for the next six months or so. Life is good.
But it will be even better with some room-darkening shades and, perhaps, a nice set of earplugs.