I Lost My Winter!
By Al Owens
I heard a bird this morning. I canít speak bird, but I think he (or she) was
telling me they were confused.
Itís March! So a 71 degree day feels like a heat wave. Right now, birds should
be taking in spring training down there in Bradenton, Florida. Instead that bird
is up here in Pennsylvania trying to find a bird bath.
Iím not complaining. I donít mind birds (as long as they donít try to give me
bird flu) and I certainly donít demure from temperatures in the low 70ís.
This morning, I went outside and cleared away the rest of the leaves I didnít
clear away last fall. This afternoon, I flung open the windows and forgot
winter. Well, I really didnít forget winter. Itís still winter, but for the time
being Iím contemplating watering the grass Ė even if that water might freeze by
Look, weíve all suffered the embarrassment of our car doors freezing shut Ė only
a couple of weeks ago. Back then, I thought Iíd never get a chance again to ride
around with my windows at half mast. Winter does that kind of thing to you, but
the hint of spring does much better stuff.
Iím ready to go outside and grill me up a big fat steak. I want to taunt that
bird I heard this morning. I want to tell the neighborhood that the smell of
burning briquettes means freedom.
Freedom is when you donít have to make a mad dash for your car, before the
teardrops freeze your eyelids shut. Freedom means not having to close your front
door and hope the wind doesnít come in the house with you. Freedom means your
heat bill doesnít make you contemplate panhandling to pay it.
Ah, Iíve got an urge to make friends with that bird I heard this morning. I just
may run out this evening and buy me a nice bag of grass seed Ė to give it
something on which to munch. Iíd normally chase away the birds, but itís been so
long since itís been warm enough to watch one, I just may feed it by hand.
I can feel my hands right now. They froze around about November and Iím starting
to get some feeling back in them today.
Everything seems to be on a steady thaw. There are some familiar fragrances I
know I havenít smelled since October Ė and I wonder why the neighbor decided to
walk their dog on our lawn. Oh, I donít care! Weíre rounding the corner to
spring. Iíll be glad just to speak to my neighbors for the first time in months
without complaining about how cold it is.
One neighbor has been standing out in front of his house since December. I think
his feet got frozen to the sidewalk. He just walked inside. I sure hope his wife
and kids remember him. Thatís what early spring means to me. Weíre reacquainted
Soon, Iíll be getting my first whiff of blossoms and freshly cut grass. Oh how I
miss those smells. Soon, Iíll see the kids outside riding their bikes up and
down the street. And oh how I miss those sights.
Spring is tailor made for your senses. Itís funny how the constant pale skies
turn so wonderfully blue this time of year. The brown grass will turn green.
Brightly colored flowers will bloom, and even our wardrobes will shine back at
the sun! No more of those dark overcoats and gloves, weíre heading into the
I wrote that yesterday. Today itís overcast and damp. Itís down in the 50ís (it
feels like the 30's to me) and Iíve already forgotten what spring feels like. I
hear it could snow over the weekend. I wonder where my new friend, that bird, is
today. I hope it didnít decide to fly back south Ė thinking weíve already had