Yep, I think it's official. With the shedding of winter coats and socks in favor of lighter-weight options, Winter 2009 has come to an end. Even though a few inches of snow is forcast for tonight and into the next few days, likely it will melt fast and leave behind a sound the likes of which has not been heard since last November: Running Water.
I woke up last night to it; the unmistakable sound of drips, drops, and pitter-patter of water flowing from the gutters and down the drainpipes to rest somewhere beneath the berms of snow still against my flowerbeds. Bear took off his warm coat today, put on his sunglasses and proclaimed "Look, it's summer over there!" (a swatch of grass was protruding on the other side of the road). Yep, I guess it's on it's way, all right, and we couldn't be happier.
This is Break-Up; the time of year when the gray-brown tinge that has been our view for so long becomes almost black with a layer of grime replacing the pristine whiteness of yards and roadways. Even the snow looks tired of winter; pitted against the trees, it is soft and spongy and provides little in the way of amusement for kids any longer.
Airplanes flying overhead from nearby Merrill Field don't all have skis on their landing gear, many are removing the fittings and putting back on the huge, round rubber tires suitable for gravel and grass landings this summer. The buzz of scooters and sports cars now free from winter storage is audible; as is the shouts from neighborhood kids, my own included, as they play out-of-doors after dinner in the lengthening daylight.
Ahhhh, it's here. If I could only unstick my picnic table from its frozen prison against my back fence, I'd whip up a crowberry cocktail and take full advantage of both sunlight and spring, sans mosquitoes.