Some days, when struggling through the oppressive heat and humidity of a Carolina summer you fanaticize about cold weather. When stifling temperatures are exceeded only by spirit-crushing humidity levels, and the simple act of walking from the house to your car can leave you looking like the half-mad, sweat-streaked survivor of an Australian walk-a-bout gone horribly wrong – you have to fight the urge to pack up and move to the deep woods of Maine or the Canadian Rockies – possibly Siberia for that matter – anywhere, in fact, that might provide a bit of relief from the God-forsaken hot box that is the Carolinas in July and August. Funny though, how after three months of an unusually cold winter, July and August seem so far away and not quite so horrible after all.
It was 70 degrees and sunny today. Its days like this – those glorious mid-February glimpses of spring – that bring me and the region of my birth to the peace table for talks. The days are getting gradually longer now and within a month these warm days will be the norm. By then, college baseball season will be well under way, filling the air with that magical sound of baseballs popping in catcher’s mits (and the not-so-magical sound of clinking metal bats). Spring football practice will be in full swing, stoking the eternal optimism of Gamecock football fans everywhere. A glass of red wine or bourbon will give way to samplings of lagers and pale ales from nearby breweries. Wool socks and heavy shoes will be replaced by flip flops, and mountain bikes will go on the rack in lieu of road bikes. March Madness, St. Patrick’s Day celebrations, grilling, camping, outdoor dining, a bit of color on previously cadaver-grey winter cheeks, sleeping with the windows open, the Cycle North Carolina spring ride and the general sense of health and well-being that comes with being neither too cold nor too hot… spring and all of the wonderful things it brings is nearly upon us, friends.
So as my new bride and I are hiking (in shorts and t-shirts) in the South Carolina mountains this weekend I’ll soak it all in and feel just a bit of sympathy for those poor souls in Maine and Canada and, maybe just a little more appreciation for home.