Friday, March 28, 2008

Spring Break - PNW Style

I'm glad I snapped this picture earlier today because now this light dusting of snow has melted and the sun is shining again. Wait...now it's cloudy. OK, now the sun is back again.

On Easter Sunday there was a short discussion about weather when someone said how sad she felt for people in other parts of the country that had to wait so long for Spring, as if we here in the Pacific Northwest don't have to wait for spring at all.

I guess it's been a while since I experienced that other season in between winter and spring called "break-up." And no, this doesn't refer to a particularly bad ending to a relationship. Those who have spent time in Alaska, the Yukon Territory, or anywhere else that has several inches of ice as a permanent fixture on the ground from November through April will have a better idea of what I mean by "break-up."

As a missionary in Alaska, I clearly remember watching the April General Conference broadcast and feeling really irritated by the abundance of panning shots of Temple Square, filled with flowering tulips, daffodils, hyacinths, and pansies. They even had popcorn popping on their apricot trees for crying out loud! It was as if they were just trying to rub my nose in the fact that in Alaska, I still had a good month before I'd even see pavement, let alone a daffodil. Not a good attitude with which to start off General Conference, I can tell you that!

So, when it was mentioned how wonderful our Oregon/Washington spring is at Easter dinner last week, all I could think about was those of you in Arizona, Texas, California, Georgia and Southern Utah who keep telling me how beautiful it is. As if your verbal praises are not enough, you send pictures of you and your kids in...what's it called again...oh that's right, SUNSHINE!

It's easy to feel sorry for myself when I focus on how much better everyone else has it. So, this week, I've tried to notice how the cloudy skies really intensify the vivid greens and bright yellows, reds and pinks. I've paid attention to the flowering trees and the chirping birds. But most of all, I've remembered what it's like to be in a place where there is still several inches of ice on the ground; where I would still be tromping around in my heavy Sorel Snow Cat boots and wearing 3 layers of thermal wear on my legs. I'm enjoying not having huge pot holes where the ice has broken up to navigate both in car and on foot.

That's right, I'm thinking of you, Minnesotans and Alaskans. No offense, but you are making me feel so much better.

10 comments:

megan said...

You should include Ohio in that list of "thinking of you." It it always so gloomy here especially this week...rain and an overcast sky (which is most of the winter too). The sun rarely shines here in the winter. I just keep thinking they need to move the filming of Twilight to Ohio where it really is overcast all winter long (then I could do my own stalking).

Betty Grace said...

Ah memories of break-up. Mud-filled well so we had to haul drinking water and shower in muddy water; big rubber boots; 4 studded tires; 3 hours of light; 2 tired feet; and a baptism in a font. Do you remember that?

Afton said...

A muddy well, that must have been in Fairbanks. I do remember our 4 studded tires, etc... I have it somewhere. I think I read it recently and thought I was a perfect, dork of a missionary. By the way, do you have this stuff memorized or stuck in your wallet for quick reference? What about our "Sisters in Zion" book on tape? Oh dear!

Catherine said...

I'm so sorry that the "curse of Catherine trying to grow plants" has reached as far down as you. I had no idea nature would go that far to discourage me.

It is pretty amazing to see snow on cherry blossoms though.

Senia said...

Thanks for the shout out! I should feel fortunate that we do have sunshine here, but when we're still having single-digit weather and getting accumulation of snow, I can feel a little sorry for myself. ;-). I laugh when my mom talks about my dad mowing the lawn... I guess under those snowbanks there MIGHT actually be some ground down there... :-/

Emily said...

This is why I left Utah! I was stuck all day inside with 5 kids while my husband spent spring break in Italy! And boy do I remember the ice in Alaska. I still slow down at the stop lights just to make sure someone isn't skidding through!

Heidi Irene said...

haha, I remember both of those- Song and book on tape! I love this picture, Afton. Its full of mixed emotion...

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