All of us spring-breakers got out of Dodge looking for warmth with the hopes that, upon our return, the light at the end of the tunnel would be closer and warm weather would be near. No such luck. Instead, when we arrived home, we were greeted with a four-letter word — snow.
The only thing worse than sticking tanned arms back into the sleeves of a winter coat is never having had a break from wearing that coat at all, like those who stayed home enduring a full extra week of suffering.
However, despite the fact the weather obviously didn’t get the memo that it’s supposed to be spring, there are some signs of the season’s arrival if you look hard enough. For instance, I have spotted a handful of robins. Sure, they seem to be wearing expressions of anger mixed with bewilderment, but who could blame them?
There have been abundant amounts of squirrels and bunnies, too, darting around with eyes glazed over — the song “Dazed and Confused” comes to mind. I’ve heard birds chirping, as well, although I’m pretty sure they’re just “chirping” the flock member whose great idea it was to fly north so soon.
Another sign of spring is the disastrous condition of our so-called grass. The day we left for spring break, we celebrated the melting of the last patch of snow on our front lawn. When we came home, the patch of snow was back, like it had never left. To be honest, it looks better that way. Everywhere else is covered in snow mold, an obstacle course of dog droppings and the unfortunate reminder that we weren’t able to get all the leaves up before winter arrived.
Still other spring signs include the opening of ice cream stands — bonus: no need to worry about your cone melting too fast. Pronto Pup opened on a day with temperatures rivaling their dead-of-winter fundraiser. Easter happened — nothing says spring like bundling up for an egg hunt and trying to peel an egg with mittens.
And then there’s the kickoff of all the spring sports. Let’s all take a moment here to give thanks and praise to anyone even slightly involved in the invention of Under Armour and wind-stopper fleece. To all the spring sport parents, I salute you. You may have to wait years for it, but someday your child will realize and appreciate the sacrifices you have made and not feel embarrassed by your excessive bundling up in every blanket you own.
Of course, yet other indications spring has arrived are the incredible amount of potholes, relentless reminders to get your taxes done, and the commercials for fertilizer, allergies and air conditioning — clearly meant to be viewed in warmer weather. And how about the gardening items and lawn furniture displays in the stores? At least we can imagine ourselves sitting on the deck sipping a margarita and enjoying the view of our beautiful flower garden, right?
Yes, at this point, some of these signs of spring feel almost like adding insult to injury, but we’re a pretty resilient bunch here in West Michigan. We wear shorts when other people haven’t even considered changing out of their flannel-lined jeans. We break out our flip-flops while others are still sporting wool socks and winter boots. We don’t need much — just a little bit of sunshine, a little bit of warmth.
Come on already — seriously! Spring’s got to get here soon, right? If not, I guess we’ve always got the summer to look forward to — at least let’s hope so!
— By Kelly Kalis, Tribune community columnist