How fitting that I have not posted since I last discussed my irritation with the never ending winter and Midwest mental hibernation. If you haven’t read it (shame on you), I discussed how people in our area cope with the awful weather by going into a state of mental hibernation that unfortunately, by mid March, I had grumpily awakened from and could no longer keep a positive attitude. Clearly my irritation affected me more than I had imagined because I have had nothing to write about other than never ending winter. Because that seemed like purely a means for me to whine and vent and probably not very entertaining to anyone but myself, I stopped blogging for a month. But alas, a magical thing happened the other day: Spring came to the Red River Valley! Okay, let me rephrase that: temperatures FINALLY rose above 50 degrees. (As a side fun fact, this year apparently set the record for the longest span of days below 50 degrees in Fargo since 1881).
Even though there are no leaves on the trees, no flowers blossoming, and my allergies have yet to knock me on my fanny, Spring is here! Here are just a few signs in case you were questioning:
- You see bare legs and toes everywhere: Even though it may not feel like shorts and flip-flop weather, don’t be deceived. Midwesterners know the truth. Sure your legs may freeze and your toes may get frost bite, but the sun is out and the thermostat reads 50 degrees. When you think how only a few weeks ago we were in the negatives, this is a heat wave! If suddenly there is a dip back down in temperature, oh well. Parkas and sweaters were stored away at the first sign of Spring.
- The sidewalks are suddenly overrun with activity: While Midwesterners do emerge throughout the winter to walk dogs, most sidewalk activity throughout the winter is reserved for shoveling and snow blowers. However, when the temperatures get to an acceptable Spring temperature, the sidewalks are suddenly over run by roller blades, bicycles, dogs of every shape and size, runners, and leisurely strollers (whom are sometimes even pushing a baby stroller).
- Sandbagging begins: Well, I don’t think this needs much explanation other than while Spring weather is lovely, flooding… not so much. Unfortunately, it has become so common that you may have a conversation similar to the one I just had with Blake when discussing where we would go to lunch today. Hailey: I brought a sandwich. We can just go sit somewhere and eat. Blake: Want to go to the park? (referring to one in Moorhead near Concordia). Hailey: No, it’s flooded. Hmm, want to go sit on top of the parking garage at the Moorhead mall and look at the flood? Blake: Yep, sounds good.
- Your morning commute gets longer: This could be for various reasons. Perhaps your normal route is now blocked by a clay dike to protect Fargo from the previously mentioned flooding. Or perhaps you are rerouted due to the never ending road construction that begins at the first signs of Spring (and when there is no more flooding). After all, when you have 8 months of winter, your window of opportunity for fixing enormous potholes (that were caused by the 8 months of winter) is relatively small.
- You find any excuse to step outside: A meeting originally scheduled in your building? Why not have it in another office… that you have to walk outside to get to. Forgot something in your car? Better go get it. Brought your lunch to work? That’s okay. Eat it at your desk and then go run those “pressing” errands… that require you to go outside.
- Windows are open: Whether in your house or in your car, the windows go down. Who cares if you have to put on an extra layer indoors or wear your mittens while driving. Spring is here and it is time to soak up all the fresh air you can after being cooped up inside for the past 8 months!
So though these are just a few signs that I have noticed, it is obvious Spring is here! So put on your crop pants, roll down your windows, and enjoy your longer and slightly chilly commute to work!
Have any other “signs” of Spring? Post a comment and share it with me!