Photographs are great, but their inherent limitations mean they can’t possibly capture everything special about a moment.
As I was walking around Schiller Park the other morning, the branches of a beautiful old tree were backlit by the first glimmers of dawn, the air was crisp but not too cold, birds were chirping, mallards and ducks were muttering to each other as they waddled past on the lawn, and the promise of growing things was everywhere evident. When I noticed the scene I realized with a jolt that spring may finally be here, and I savored the moment, enough to stop and take a picture.
It’s a nice picture, but it really doesn’t do justice to the moment. Of course, when spring does come after an overlong winter, you don’t want to see it in pictures, you want to get outside and enjoy it with every sense and fiber of your being.
March was a cold, wet nightmare, and April hasn’t been much better. So when tonight’s weather was clear but cool, there was nothing to be done but light the first fire of the season and hope that spring is here for good.
We’re up in Detroit for a visit with Russell. Since this is The Winter That Will Never End, we were treated yesterday to a hard, cold rain and temperatures in the upper 30s.
One time-honored approach to miserable weather outside is to go inside and fortify yourself against the elements. So, we stopped by the Krakus Restaurant & Bar in Hamtramck, which specializes in Polish and American cuisine, and I got the meat pierogies with bacon, onions, and sour cream, it came with a steaming bowl of spilt pea soup, and I topped it off with a bottle of Okocim beer. The food was excellent, the lager went down easy, and I relished a meal that Mom would have said would “stick to your ribs.”
Thus fueled, we ventured forth again into the never-ending chill.
We put out our patio furniture cushions and umbrella in hopes that it would encourage the temperamental weather gods to finally send us some true, warm, spring-like weather, so we can actually enjoy the patio again after months of wintry inactivity.
Instead, the weather gods wrathfully decided to punish our hopeful gesture. Last night we got a snow storm, and right now it’s 28 degrees out.
One of these days we’ll learn not to mess with the weather gods.
Today the 2018 Major League Baseball season starts. On Opening Day, fans of every team can approach the new season with optimism that this might just be the year for their team to win it all.
Fans of the Cleveland Indians, like Russell and UJ and me, are hoping that, on this 70th anniversary of the Tribe’s last World Series title, this might be the year that the team ends a very long drought. With the winless streak now celebrating its 70th birthday, we think it’s time for its mandatory retirement. And after last season, where Cleveland won more than 100 games but lost to the Damn Yankees in the playoffs, Tribe fans are hoping that the team has the pieces in place to make another legitimate run for the championship banner.
But Tribe fans are not alone, of course. The start of baseball season is great, because every baseball fan everywhere feels inward optimism about their squad, even if they won’t admit it publicly. Lightning can and does strike. Sometimes teams just gel, and unlikely heroes emerge, and rookie phenoms actually pan out. Every year, it seems, there is a Cinderella story, and at the start of the season every fan hopes that their team will end up donning the glass slipper. The sense of hopefulness and possibility is intoxicating — but also can be brief and ruined by reality.
This year, though, at least for those of us in the Midwest and East who’ve been enduring the Winter that Won’t Go Away, there’s another reason to celebrate the arrival of baseball’s Opening Day. If the Summer Game is finally here, we can hope that summer itself isn’t far behind.
I was in Pittsburgh for meetings today, and the grim, icy grip old Old Man Winter was everywhere in evidence. Pittsburgh was one of the cities in the path of the last (we hope) nor’easter in this endless winter, and it was getting pounded with blizzard-like conditions and what appeared to be about a foot of snow.
I set off to drive home with some trepidation, hoping I wouldn’t get stranded on the road back to Columbus. Fortunately, by the time I hit I-70 the snow really wasn’t bad, and when I crossed the Ohio state line there was no snow at all.
It’s very Christmas-like in Pittsburgh this morning, with snow-covered treetops and landscape, and still more snow falling. Too bad it’s March 21, and officially the start of spring, rather than December 25!
Every time we think we’ve finally turned the corner on this crummy winter, another storm and cold snap gives us a wallop. The Stark Clan with their annoying “Winter Is Coming” saying would love the American Midwest this year. Of course, if they showed up here in their fancy fur-trimmed duds and used that phrase, they’d probably get slugged in the jaw.
Enough, already! It’s time for Mother Earth to start tilting on her axis in earnest and give us some relief from this Winter That Just Won’t End.