Here in Upstate South Carolina, winter caved in yet again.  We’ve had no snow to speak of, and it’s been in the high 60s and 70s for the weekend.  Last week we had an arctic air mass that would freeze the skin right off of your flesh.  Now, I’m concerned about sun-burn.

I know, I know, most of America would love to have a little bit of warming trend.  Sure, the sun is high, the breeze soft and the daffodils already looking out at the world, taking a chance on more freezing weather.

But I’m a Spring curmudgeon, a Spring scrooge.  If it could stay spring, with cold nights, I’d be alright.  But just as puppies become dogs, kittens transform into cats and politicians grow into unavoidable nuisances, Spring will inevitably roll into Summer.  Along the way there will be gardening to do, and expectations.  I’m bad at gardening.  My lawn is the Frankenstein Monster of yards.  I’ll plant some things for my dear wife, who loves flowers.  The summer sun will nuke them, regardless of the water we pour around their bases.

Once Summer is ‘fully involved,’ we will be awash in wasp and hornet nests, fire-ant hills into which we will accidentally place our bare feet, lady-bugs will infest our home day and night, swarming in the house and making us sneeze.

Time outside will require frequent hydration breaks.  At some point, in mid to late Summer, we’ll reach H3…hazy, hot and humid, when our temperatures are in the high 90s and our humidity in the high 90s as well.  Might as well be a fish walking about with gills in order to extract oxygen from the liquid air.  Spring, for all its floral glory, reminds me that all of those delights will be soon upon me.
The patient mix of emergency medicine will change as well.  We’ll go from colds, flu and pneumonia to the bites of stinging insects (see fire-ants above), ticks, spiders (every red mark a spider bite in the Southern mind), and occasionally rattlesnakes.  Bare-foot persons who spend their days marching on black asphalt will bare their soles to me, complaining, with feigned surprise, about the scattered bits of hardward and rock embedded in their feet.

And one more school year will be past; my children one year older.  Somehow the freedom of summer reminds me of their ultimate freedom from me.  The beginning of the school year, in the Autumn, leaves them stuck with their mother and me for yet another year; safe in our homes in the advancing cool of the evening.  Even Winter, for all its darkness, is a kind of safe place.  But Spring is a time of graduations and change.  I find it simply too transformative.

Sick, isn’t it?  How can a guy live in South Carolina and not love Spring?

Who knows.  We all  have our dark, twisted side.  This is just mine.

However, if you’re a person who is like me, for whom Spring and Summer are sometimes just too much, take heart.  You aren’t alone.

And for all I know, Winter still has more cold and dreary weather waiting for me, just around the corner from this infernal appetizer of impending Summer swelter.


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