Spring will arrive when Mother Nature is darn good and ready

February 24, 2019

With the calendar announcement that we are heading into the season called spring, starting with March, there are plenty of skeptics.

Mother Nature howled with laughter at the very thought of a piece of paper telling her a schedule.

To prove her point, she lashed the East Coast the last couple of weeks with a reminder of just who was in charge, regardless of what the calendar proclaimed. And she blew enough wind up the corridor to run for political office.

But here at the beach, I saw my first sign of spring. No, it wasn’t the red, red robin that we praise in tribute of spring. Nor was it the early daffodils poking their dresses through the cold, raw rain. This is all fake news. I know fake news is in today, but most people can spot it like the years-ago headline, “Dewey defeats Truman.”

I lean on something more reliable with the change of seasons around here. No, the sign of spring I observed and shook my head in acknowledgement of was a man who was crossing Rehoboth Avenue.

He was bent over and wearing an aged pair of shorts. That wasn’t enough to make him the sign of spring, though. It was the blinding milk-white legs, with pitch-black socks encased in a pair of sandals. Now that’s what I’m talking about. Surely the gods of spring are on their way, I nodded through a couple of falling, piercing-cold raindrops.

And speaking of weather, I just wish the meteorologists would wipe those smiles off their faces when doing the broadcast. Head-for-the-hills kind of warnings are not something I take lightly.

Now, I really don’t have anything against meteorologists, but when they give the temperature reading, they always have to ruin it by adding the wind chill factor, which usually is somewhere around a temperature that penguins need to survive.

I know what it feels like outside just by opening the door! Enough with the howling wind piling on; just give us the weather or at least the curse factor.

But I digress. Some would point to other, more noticeable signs of spring. Now crowds of visitors are starting to gather on weekends. You can see the true snowbirds along the side of the road, in the fields, stopping to feast before heading back to their places of origin.

And like the birds, the human snowbirds are starting to pack their bags, loaded with such precious cargo as plastic palm trees, miniature ceramic girls doing the hula, and T-shirts that say, Tourist From Hell. It’ll be “Wagons, ho” to the north soon.

They will be stopping to feast on the side of the road also. But most of them, to their credit, prefer the buffets and food shacks along the route. Yes, soon we no longer will have the place to ourselves. It’s like knowing that distant cousin who constantly paces and jingles pennies in his pockets will be dropping in sometime during the next couple of weeks. Now, there is a real head-for-the-hills forecast.

It didn’t take much for those first signs of spring years ago. There was always some woman getting a head start by beating on a rug with a racket while it was draped over a clothesline. And guys could tell just because the oil light on the one car they had kept blinking. Now those were solid clues.

Of course, you can always use the old tried-and-true method of saying spring has arrived. The day you take your coat or sweater off is the one. If the slipper fits, wear it.

  • Nancy Katz has a degree in creative writing and is the author of the book, "Notes from the Beach." She has written the column Around Town for the Cape Gazette for twenty years. Her style is satirical and deals with all aspects of living in a resort area on Delmarva.