Friday, March 30, 2012

Hits and misses

We had the winter that wasn't this year.  It was the warmest I can recall in slightly less than half a century that I've been available to take notes. The laws of nature and the law of averages and Murphy's Law and a few others say you're going to get one of these now and then, and not likely when it suits your schedule.  I felt a little cheated not even seeing a flake of snow.  I didn't even burn a full rack of firewood.  And now spring is here, wide open and at least a month ahead of schedule.  Winter is definitely gone.

I will miss being able to drive down the highway at dusk without bugs smashing all over my windshield, especially whichever ones make the tiny white streaks that look like someone ground up a grease pencil and hurled the shavings at the truck.

I will miss the smell of burning leaves, of the air first thing in the morning after a cold front moves in, of my waxed cotton gear that is uninhabitable in warmer weather.

I'll miss sitting in the office on Wednesday knowing I'm going hunting in only three days.  I'll miss waking up while it's still dark, loading the truck in the dark, and heading down the highway looking at the horizon for the first signs of light.

I'll miss knowing that if I really wanted to, most likely at the cost of a job or a marriage or at the very least a severe ass-gnawing from either, I could go hunting today.

I won't miss the barren, naked look of trees.  For years I've wished that leaves would change color in the fall and stay that way until spring when the new ones would push them off the branch.  A winter wardrobe.

I won't miss scraping frost off of the windshield or my door freezing shut.  I won't miss driving off with a stack of bills and checks on the toolbox, the ones I put there so I could use both hands to pull open the frozen door, and watching them take flight in the rearview.

I won't miss the mud in my yard.  And on my shoes.  And on my pants.  And in my house.

I could go on but there's not much sense in dwelling on what was, wasn't and isn't.  Winter is gone.  Give it eight or nine months and there's a good chance it'll be back.

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