After the winter we had in New Jersey, with record snowfall and record low temperatures, it's without surprise that spring is welcomed with open arms. Longer days, chirping birds, brighter and colourful surroundings all have a natural way of making people happier, walk lighter on their feet and seemingly more positive in their outlooks towards life.
As a teacher, it means a step closer to the summer when teachers are off and get to have time for themselves. As a writer, it means Book Expo America and the Writer's Digest Conference and, generally, more time to write and edit. As a husband and father, it means more time with my family, playing soccer outdoors with my son and splashing around in the pool.
But, as winter ends and spring begins, it's a reminder that another year is passing and we're all one more year older. With that, a new (or renewed) list of achievements and failings can accompany the changing of the season. As humans beings are wont to find flaws and as much as we like certain things, like the warmer weather and brigher days, we still find things about which to complain about those things we enjoy. So, with that said, here are my current (things could change next year or tomorrow) top ten positives and negatives about spring.
10 Negatives About Spring (not in any particular order)
2. Bugs. I'm not scared of them. I just find them annoying, buzzing around your ears and such.
3. Bug bites
4. Severe fluctuation in weather (day-to-day and within each day)
5. Yard work. I really hate having to do it but I like the results after it's finished.
6. The season in which taxes are due. However, this is due to no fault of the season. If taxes were due in the winter, then I'd feel the same way about winter in this regard.
7. The looming end to the English football (soccer) season
8. Spring cleaning. This is very much like indoor yard work.
9. Spring colds. Cold and flu should be things of winter only. Spring and summer colds, intuitively, just seem contradictory. Just say it. Spring cold. Summer cold. Worse still, they're harded to deal with because, if you're like me, you've got allergies on top of the flu.
10. Noisy and, sometimes, rowdy latenighters. Usually, those guilty of this are returning college students and high school seniors. I don't begrduge them their fun. They're entitled to it. I just wish they were a tad more considerate to those of us who have, perhaps, passed their prime and don't hangout like they used and/or have kids who they're trying to keep asleep through the night.
10 Positives About Spring (again, not in any particular order)
1. Warmer temperatures
2. Longer days. Goodbye standard time, hello Daylight Savings!
3. Spring Break
4. Outdoor tennis
5. Running outside
6. Nature's colours
7. Driving with the windows and moonroof open
8. It's the writer's season. Spring and summer appear to be when most of the conferences and workshops happen. Although writers write and share 24-7-365, in an odd way it feels like late fall and winter is when we cram inside and bang out on the keys to our laptops and spring is when we start to reconnect and share what we've written.
9. Street fairs and farmers' markets.
10. Baseball. Although I'm not a baseball fan, the way I am a football (soccer) fan with a team I support and follow, there is something very special and truly American about ball parks filled with kids in helmets and carrying bats, wearing mitts and the smell of hot dogs and burgers wafting through the air. There's a tradition aboury. it and something pure, too. The unique sounds of a ball landing in a glove or coming off the bat - the ding of an aluminium one or the crack of a Louisville Slugger - is pure Americana. It's innocent and hopeful, the way spring itself is.