This week, most area students (and teachers) are enjoying spring break. That very phrase evokes images of sunshine, warmer temperatures and flowers breaking through twigs and winter’s debris to remind us that summer is around the corner.
For me, spring break signals light at the end of an endless tunnel of wintry gloom and frigid temperatures. And that yearning for summer means there is one thing that I truly despise right now. I hate the month of April. It is a horrible, lying and conniving month that doesn’t deserve any soft feelings.
Why do I hate April so much? Because it is a cruel tease. A harlot. A shady lady. One day, I am bouncing down the street, walking my dog with nary a shiver or chill, even though I’m only wearing a light jacket. The next minute, I’m pulling on my snow boots and getting my Eddie Bauer thick coat out of the closet.
Last week was a prime example of this despicable behavior by Mother Nature. Nearly 70 degrees one day — Oh joy! — and 2 inches of snow 48 hours later. Friends and acquaintances were posting pictures of snowy decks, early flowers being smothered by snow up to their...asters, and snow-covered backyards. I didn’t even have the heart to post the snowy landscape outside my living room picture window. After such a tough year, I wasn’t amused.
The scene reminded me of Easter 2008. We attended Easter Vigil services at St. Augustine Church and when we emerged about 10 p.m. or so, our car was covered with about 6 inches of snow. Again, we were not amused, even though the odds of snow were strong because Easter fell at the end of March, rather than April.
That snow was particularly distressing because all my flowering trees and bushes had already gotten their buds and my tulips were poking through the dirt. The snow killed each and every bloom, making it the only spring in my memory when our front-yard peach tree had no fragrant flowers (a favorite spring moment for me) and virtually no peaches.
I moved away from Cleveland right after graduation from The Ohio State University. I lived in San Diego, Las Vegas, Savannah and Annapolis, Maryland, before moving back to Cleveland in my 30s. I was frankly spoiled by those years of living in temperate and desert climates. I loved the warmth, the flowers, the mountains, the oceans (both Pacific and Atlantic). But I loved Cleveland and my roots more. So back to Cleveland I came.
But I had forgotten about April.
Here’s hoping May comes quickly. Until then, I’m keeping my snow boots by the door.
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