Baseball’s back. The sun doesn’t set at 5 pm anymore. Fluffy Easter bunnies and pastel colors are everywhere. What are your favorite signs of Spring?
When Season Changes Are Subtle in So Cal and Wisconsin
Coming from So Cal, I’m used to very subtle season changes. In So Cal and in Wisconsin, the transition from Winter to Spring is hard to identify, but for different reasons. In So Cal, Winter seems indistinguishable from Spring because it’s not uncommon to have a nice, sunny 70* day in December. In Wisconsin, Winter and Spring are thus far indistinguishable because I haven’t seen the “explosions of color” Wisconsonites have told me about, and also because I still have to wear all my Wisconsin Winter gear: the coat, the scarf, the gloves, the beanie… In Winter I was dressing for warmth from the cold, but in Spring I am dressing for warmth from the wind. I swear it would feel warm if only the wind would stop blowing for one second. The chill in the wind goes through everything but my snow jacket.
Wring/Sprinter (?) in Wisconsin
I’ve been told by Wisconsinites and other Midwesterners that Winter is like that ex-boyfriend/girlfriend who just doesn’t leave. Just when you think they’re gone, just when you start enjoying a week without them, they show up again.
Case in Point (Spring Snow Storms and More Driving Stories)
The WORST snowstorm I’ve EVER experienced, and also the worst driving conditions I’ve ever survived, happened the weekend of March 24 while driving through Illinois. Gjalla, my husband, and I were driving from Wisconsin to St. Louis for the SEC Gymnastics Championships. Not long after we crossed into Illinois, we hit a rainstorm that became a snowstorm.
We saw at least 30 vehicles, INCLUDING some 18-wheelers, which had slid off the road onto the shoulder or into the center field divider.
OOOOOOOHHHHH, so THAT’S why some freeways/highways have grassy fields instead of walls to divide the two directions of traffic…
I was extremely relieved when we made it through to dry road. I also have to say, I’m EXTREMELY proud of myself for not being one of the cars in the ditch. I mean, me, a typical So Cal driver, with only one Wisconsin Winter’s experience — I stayed out of the ditch.
I made it through a “white out” where I couldn’t see more than 2 feet in front of me. I did not become one of those overly cautious drivers, crawling at 15 mph in the slow lane. Nor did I become one of those overly confident drivers who act like the weather is an illusion.
Thanks to my first Wisconsin Winter (and a “mild one”, I’m told), I knew how to drive in the snow, how NOT to freak out when slowing down or changing lanes makes the peddles vibrate and go thun-thun-thun.
Of course, it wasn’t dark outside. I still don’t think I’m ready for that.
Signs of Spring in Wisconsin – Look at all the people!
One of my favorite signs of Wisconsin Spring thus far is how many people I see outside now. Neither the snow nor the cold kept me from playing outside, but I almost never saw any of my neighbors.
I know, I know, a So Cal girl outside in Winter? Surprising! But I was enamored by the novelty and beauty of snow…my neighbors probably don’t share my bright-eyed tourist enthusiasm.
I would see parents escort their kids to the bus stop, but I rarely saw anyone playing outside in the snow or single-digit temperature. From an aerial view, you’d be able to spot my house as the one with the most tracks in the snow, while the snow in my many of my neighbors’ yards remained pristine and untouched.
Now that it’s getting warmer, and especially now that it’s still sunny at 7 pm, I’m seeing more people outside. Some of these people are neighbors I met when I first joined the neighborhood in September, and haven’t seen since. I hope I can remember their names!
What I’m Looking Forward To
- Exploring Wisconsin’s plethora of trails and parks
- More Lake Days with Gjalla
- Enjoying the Sun WITH the DOORS & WINDOWS OPEN!