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Thursday, February 26, 2015

Driving in the dark

It seems like I spend a lot of time driving in the dark over winter.  I leave in the morning in the dark, I might get home in the light of day, but then the kids will have something going on so it'll be off again, in the dark, and coming back home in the dark.

  I don't like winter, it's far from my favorite season, it fills me with trepidation like knowing I have to get a shot or a tooth pulled, truly almost panic. Knowing that it's coming and there's nothing I can do to stop it.  Last winter(2013/2014) was awful, like winters we had when I was a kid, never ending snow, cold, and it felt like it was going to last forever.  Summer was lackluster at best, yea we had a few really hot days, but nothing too extreme.  Then it was fall.  Fall is my favorite season, and I wish it lasted longer, I love the colors, the dry leaves, pumpkins, cranberries, Halloween, Thanksgiving, it's just so rich.  Then, winter comes....for us in Michigan over the last decade or so it seems that we get no snow til January and then it hits hard and sticks around til March.  November and December are just cold and desolate, darkness, short, cold days and nights. No snow for Christmas vacation, the kids get bored, it's too cold to go outside, or it's muddy.  Christmas and New Year's Eve are bright spots in the dismal mess of winter.  At least there is something to look forward to.  Then it's back to driving in the dark.  After a while you get used to it, anymore it doesn't even feel weird, it's just what we do.  Country roads where the dark is REALLY dark, suburbs where it's a bit brighter, city streets with streetlights, city streets without streetlights, they all have their own ambiance.   Some places look creepy or sinister in the dark, they may make you drive a little faster, or pay more attention at stop lights, some places seem so bright it's like daytime all the time.

As I was driving home tonight, I realized it definitely was dark, but finally it's getting later and later before the sun sets.  You an almost feel spring coming, there's a feeling in your gut, an excitement that's dying to get out and enjoy the warmth of the sun on bare skin. It's like when you are trying to surprise someone with something great, and you're about to burst because you're so excited.  It's there, it's building, Spring is coming.  Just like you can't stop winter from coming, you can't keep it from leaving either, eventually it will give up the fight, spring will take over and we've made it through again.  I want it all, sunshine, swimming in Lake Michigan, driving with the car window down, sleeping with the house windows open, cool breezes on the hot night, bonfires with friends, fireworks, pool parties, flip flops, painted toenails, sunglasses, tan lines, camping, canoeing, kayaking, food cooking on the grill, sweet corn, watermelon, the smell of sunscreen, bare feet...bring it on!  It's been so long, so many years of hurry up and do this, do that, I just want it to slow down for a minute....just STOP!  Take a breath,  Even though I will try to enjoy every minute of it, try to soak in all the light and fun that the warmer weather and sunlight brings, I will get busy with life, and before I know it, it will be fall again.  Thank God for fall, one last look at beautiful colors before being plunged back into cold and darkness.  When I was little my grandparents used to go to Florida in the winter and I felt sorry for them, I always thought, 'why on earth would anyone want to miss out on the snow?'  Well now that I'm a grown up (I think) I completely understand why people go south for the winter. If I could afford to, I would do it too.  All this freezing and shoveling is for the birds! The Penguins! All the smart birds flew south!  Some day, I will find a way to be a snowbird too...I love my state, but winter, blah.

It's coming, just hold on, we'll make it.

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