Winter officially ended the other day, and I can’t say I’ll miss it. On the other hand, the Idler has learned from bitter experience that every silver lining has its dark cloud. Sure Winter was cold and gloomy, but that also meant that the grass wasn’t growing. Sure there was snow to shovel, but it conveniently concealed those leaves you were just about to rake last November when the first flakes arrived. Now it’s time to see if the mower will start. Did you put that fuel stabilizer stuff in the gas tank last fall? No? Keep yanking that cord.
Sports-wise, Spring first brings us March madness, the NCAA basketball tournament, which is really terrific until your team is eliminated by the tournament “Cinderella,” the Northwest Bumstead State Fighting Wombats, who are then summarily stomped by Syracuse. Then you’re left with that bracket thing you filled out at the office or down at the shop. Unless you’re the commissioner though, you don’t really know whether or not you’re winning until the end. By the way, does that squeaky sneaker sound ever get under your skin? Maybe I shouldn’t have brought it up.
April brings Pirates opening day which is something you should relish because it’s probably one of the last times they’ll be tied for first place. Over the past few years the Bucs have been a pretty good first half team. They’ve also been a pretty stinko second half team, but that’s a Summer problem. We’re talking about Spring here. Focus!
Weather-wise, we’re normally looking at several months of steady rain. This will cause the aforementioned lawn to grow upwards of three feet per week, and the only people who will be able to keep up with it are the retired guys who remembered to put that stuff in the gas tank. While you’re at work, they’ll race out between thunderstorms and give it a once over. We usually get our annual tornado/micro-burst/cyclone/derecho in late Spring, right around school picnic time. Remember in 2000 how it came through jerking trees out of the ground and swapping people’ shingles all up and down Kennywood Boulevard? It was Steel Valley picnic day too. That was awesome, but dangerous, of course. Maybe all the unmown grass in your yard will protect your house against the storm winds.
Spring is also prime time for all sorts of family functions These may seem like a bit of a pain at first glance. But you must remember that you’ll bring some joy into a young person’s life, and you may well find one willing to do your yard work at a reasonable price. Also, here in the Mon Valley, people really seem to know how to strap on the feedbag, if you get the Idler’s drift and I’m not just talking halupki and rigatoni. Anyway, you’ve got graduations, first communions, confirmations, weddings. There are bar mitzvahs, bat mitzvahs, baby showers and birthdays. Little league, pony league, subs and first strings.These are a few of my favorite things. Sorry, got carried away there.