For Jane

30 Mar

This is Jane.

She’s one of my best friends.  We lived together for three years in college.  Unfortunately, she now lives in Washington DC where her husband goes to grad school.  I’m so terribly sad that we no longer get to hang out together all the time.

Therefore, ever since she moved to St. Louis after college, it has been my personal mission to get her (and her wonderful husband and their beautiful daughter and their ??? baby) to move back to the Midwest, specifically to whatever city I happen to be in.  In order to do this, I have been trying to point out all the wonderful highlights of our part of the nation.  And today one of those wonderful things struck me and I had to share it with her, and all of you.

One of the worst parts of living in the upper Midwest is the LONG winters.  They usually start in October or November and for two months there’s fresh snow and its pretty and brisk and wonderful.  Then, Christmas passes and you’re ready for spring but you know there is winter left so you march along through January and pretend you’re oblivious to the bitter cold.  Then February hits.  And it’s the pits.  But God, in all his wisdom, has decided that we’d better not start Lent at a time when the trees are budding and the grass is growing so he throws in another month of winter.  Then, at the beginning of March, you get two or three nice days that perk everybody up.  But they don’t last and you get, yet, another few weeks of winter.

You say this sounds awful?  Like a never ending winter?  Narnia, anyone?

It is.  For a bit.  But then it’s wonderful.  Because somewhere in there the snow has stopped coming in such large amounts and the temperatures have been slowly climbing.  And one day, out of the blue, it’s spring.

That's melting snow, by the way.(That’s melting snow, by the way.)

After living in Virginia for a year, I can tell you that the coming of spring did not have the same effect there.  There was no awe, no expectation.  You didn’t slowly see the grass turning green and the trees budding out.  It’s a beautiful transition there, too, don’t get me wrong, but it feels like it happens in a day.  One day, it’s winter (sort of).  The next, spring.  Not much of a plot line, if you ask me.

But here, in the Midwest, we get to enjoy the whole process of nature renewing itself.  We get to go outside when it’s 35 degrees and feel light hearted and joyful because it’s like a summer’s day after the long winter.  And we get a few weeks when it’s warm outside but not warm enough to melt the snow.  Then we enjoy snow dogs.

(That’s our landlords’ dog, Baxter.)

The seasonal transition in the Midwest is glorious.

I just thought you oughta know, Jane.

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One Response to “For Jane”

  1. Jane April 9, 2011 at 11:25 AM #

    Hahaha, you crack me up. Yes, it’s true, spring is a glorious thing in the upper midwest. But, when it snows like 20 days before my late-May wedding, I tend to get a little cranky. If you keep working on us, I’m sure we’ll end up next door neighbors yet 🙂

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