Amy Roberts: Spring fever in full bloom
You know those kids who ‘are going through a phase’ and upon even the slightest moment of planned separation, they cling to their mother’s leg, begging her not to go?
These kids have a grip so tight, the jaws of life are needed to pry them off. And then there are the kids who are so excited for the babysitter to arrive, they practically shove their parents out the door. These children enthusiastically embrace their substitute caretaker, ready to experience the new fun that awaits.
I’m convinced those of us who live in a ski town are the adult version of one of those types of little people. We either spend the mud season slogging uphill with skis strapped to our backs, protesting winter’s departure, or our bikes have had a full tune up before the lifts have even stopped running.
I tend to subscribe to the latter. It’s not that I don’t enjoy winter or love a good powder day — I live here because of them. But come April, I want to wear a puffy coat about as much as I want to sport flip flops during Sundance. Admittedly, I tend to jump the gun a bit on the whole “it’s spring” thing. The first blade of grass peaking out from under the snow is all the permission I need to start setting out the patio furniture. I’ve lived in Park City long enough to know those cushions and lounge chairs will almost certainly experience a blizzard before they’re ever put to any real use, but despite the odds, I do it every year. It’s not so much a gamble as it is a determination to will the warmer weather. I’m the person whose entire yard is covered old bed sheets at some point in May, because I planted flowers and vegetables when I felt it was the right time, not necessarily when it was. What I lack in patience I make up for in zucchini.
This April has been no different. Mother Nature teased us with a short-lived appetizer of sunshine and 60-degree temperatures and, despite snow in the forecast, I ate it all up. I spent the weekend doing yard work, hanging bird feeders, cleaning out the garage, purging closets, making trips to various donation centers, washing windows, and generally spring cleaning like it’s an Olympic sport and I intend to take home the gold. By Sunday night, my back hurt, my hands were blistered, and there was so much dirt under my fingernails I could have started a five-digit garden. It would have been much easier to just watch an episode of “Hoarders,” decide by comparison I’m doing just fine, and go out for a glass of wine. But after the winter we had, there’s something undeniably satisfying about being ready for summer, even if it’s not quite ready to arrive.
Local retailers seem to understand this mentality. Peruse the aisles of any grocery store in town and you’ll notice the mittens and beanies are in the bargain bins, the high-profile shelves they occupied just a few weeks ago are now filled with beach towels, coolers, and pool toys. This is the time of year an inflatable floating unicorn and a heavy-duty snow shovel peacefully coexist side by side in garages all across town. Either one can be put to use at any time, and it’s possible you might need them both in the same day.
Whether you’re clinging to winter or the one pushing it out the door anxious to get on to the next thing, one thing is certain: Summer will be here soon, and it won’t stay nearly long enough.
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