There’s an old sailor’s superstition that you should not whistle while at sea. The thinking was, if sailors whistled, the wind would take it as a challenge and refuse to blow, slacking the sails and stranding the crew. I think of that superstition from time to time concerning the weather we enjoy, or tolerate, in Iowa.
My first year in Spirit Lake, the first snowfall began instantly after I bagged the last pile of leaves. After one of the recent warm stretches, I traded my wool coat for a fleece jacket and, once again, the snow took its revenge. Well, I’m no fool. I’ve kept my mouth shut. I’ve been sure to keep my emergency snow shovel and blanket in my car. I haven’t even hung up my snow shovel. I just let it lean on the wall inside the garage door.
But now, spring is coming and it’s undeniable.
Monday was the first official day of spring, at least according to my calendar. Now, I fully realize the weather has been known to change after the calendar tells us we’re in the clear. This time is different, though. This time I saw a sign. Let’s be honest. A lot of Iowans start looking for these when the weather starts to get a little warmer. We haven’t heard them in awhile. Their shape isn’t like the others. When they’re a vibrant red they really stick out against the melting snow and brown grass. I don’t know what kind of mileage they get but that three-wheel design is pretty snazzy.
I think I lost you.
Oh, you probably thought I was talking about robins. That’s silly. I’ve seen robins run back to Florida when a late snow drops on their nest. No, I’ve seen an even more sure sign. Someone was actually driving one of those Polaris Slingshot cars. Sunday afternoon. The open top cars are out, ladies and gentlemen. Spring is here.
Just think. In a matter of a few short months, school children will become complacent in their studies. Leather seats will be blistering hot. Aloe vera burn ointment sales will soar and Highway 71 will again be filled with the hustle and bustle of summer traffic.
Don’t leave winter. We’re not ready yet. We didn’t mean any of the things we said when we were shoveling our driveways and paying our energy bills.
Oh well, we’ll see you next year.