On the cusp of spring.

Now comes the excrutiating wait, enduring the short teases of spring as the weather warms then cools again. After having a number of warm days – in the high 50s/low 60s – we're once again expecting snow. Starting tonight, in fact. Accumulation is dependent on which part of the Chicago area you're in, and we're in the far Northwest suburbs – the part expecting the greater amounts of snow. Oh. Rapture.

This time of year is so frustrating. Just when you think you've turned a corner you run face first into yet another wall. It's like being in a maze – you can smell the cheese; you just can't find it. Though, in this case, it's the spectre of nasty winter weather you can't get away from, and the warm weather that's elusive. I'd rather it were cheese. And I'm lactose intolerant.

I'd expected the winter to bring on more of a feeling of melancholia than it did. Not that the season's done just yet, so maybe I'm speaking too soon. It still has a vice grip on our necks, with the very real prospect for at least another month of cold, snowy, dark and dismal weather. Considering how awful last winter was – though truth be told not solely due to the weather – I'd anticipated this winter to feel much longer than it has - much more dismal and depressing. That's not to say I'm not sick of it, 'cause boy howdie I am.  In the fall I considered pre-emptively buying one of those lights people with Seasonal Affectedness Disorder use, in order to raise their spirits while the days are so short and dark. As it turned out I never needed to, which was a little surprising.

Taking three courses per semester  – a full course load, while also working part-time and being a wife and mother – helped the winter go by more quickly. It's kept my hands from falling idle, and my brain, too. But when those papers come due – in April and May – it's all but guaranteed to be much warmer and more pleasant outside. While I'm stuck inside, naturally. But the view from the windows will be superb, and the walk from the car to the library pleasant. Again, the mouse stuck in the maze, this time seeing the cheese in addition to smelling it, scratching piteously at the glass for just one, small taste.

In mid-May I'll be released done with the semester, just in time to watch my husband plant all the annual flowers while I oversee his hard work. By the time he finishes that the weeds will have popped up in the back yard garden. Good thing he'll have the income taxes finished. That'll give him plenty of time for matters horticultural, though overseeing his work will take a serious bite out of my free time. We all must make our sacrifices. It is my cross to bear.

I need to be prepared for a little more snow and cold before this is all over. I've made it this far; I can't let it get me down now. The days are already getting noticeably longer; the spring time change isn't far behind. Once that comes the nice weather is almost here. The birds are already returning. Sometimes in the mornings we hear them chirping in the trees. Before we know it the crocus and daffodils will start peeking out, potentially getting smothered by snow once or twice before they come into full bloom, but it'll be nice seeing them again – brief though their blooms are.

Two or three months after the early spring flowers are only a distant memory I'll be complaining about how unbearable the heat and humidity are, wishing all this was back again. Funny how hard it is to remember that in the midst of the cold weather. I think they call that "selective amnesia," the same force that keeps women having babies despite the fact labor feels much like I imagine being drawn and quartered must have felt. Related to that is the compulsion parents feel to spend the first year of their children's lives trying to convince the little cherubs to talk, so they can start screaming, "NO!" in reply to everything they say. Then, later, "I hate you! Can I have the car this weekend?"

Such are the vicissitudes of life. Birth, death, rebirth. Yadda, yadda, yadda.

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