Growing up in Southern California, the change of seasons was always pretty subtle. There isn’t a dramatic change in lawn color because it’s always green, or always brown (if you’re doing your part to end the drought). Here in Wisconsin, patches of grass that were previously shades of yellow and brown are suddenly vibrant shades of green. Some grassy areas are now speckled with little yellow flowers. The spikey weeds I plucked from my yard in November are suddenly back with a vengeance. And the lightning storms – watching those reminds me of how I used to feel watching fireworks as a kid.
I moved from Huntington Beach, Southern California to Pewaukee, Wisconsin in September 2017. My biggest fear was that Winter would be dreary and depressing and that I’d miss the beach so much I’d go crazy. Thankfully none of that has come to fruition.
There’s something about being around and in the water which brings me serenity. Seeing pictures on social media of my family at the beach doesn’t make me miss the beach as much as it makes me want to go swimming in the lake. I would love to ditch work and go be in the water.
If I’m being honest, I did go to the beach year-round in So Cal, but I hardly went in the water. Here in Wisconsin, I’ve been taking Gjalla to parks with lakes year round, but it’s finally getting warm enough to go in the water. And I mean all the way in the water. I find it much easier to swim in a lake than at the beach. This is the part where I confess I have this irrational fear of sharks. But also, the Pacific Ocean is notoriously cold. I used to spend hours in the water as a little So Cal kid, but as a So Cal adult, I almost never went in past my knees.
If only the rain would go away.
If Wisconsin Fall brings gorgeous shades of leaves and Wisconsin Winter brings snow, then Wisconsin Spring brings rain. April showers bring May flowers, right? Rain isn’t something I really had to deal with growing up in So Cal. In fact, I remember my mom used to have this rule I could only play my Nintendo when it was raining outside. I almost never played.
It’s because of the rain I think Spring is my least favorite season.
Yes, that means I like Wisconsin Winter more than Wisconsin Spring.
At least with Winter, I got to play in the snow. When it rains, I have no desire to go outside. There’s nothing to shovel, there’s nothing to build, and rolling in muddy puddles is (thankfully) not as appealing to Gjalla as rolling in the snow.
Furthermore, I found I could handle the cold and snow as long as I wore the right attire. With the rain, nothing I wear or do seems to keep me dry. This is the part where I mention I’m about 6 weeks pregnant and none of my waterproof winter weather gear fits me anymore. But also, driving in snow and rain are equally annoying to me, but in different ways.
With both the rain and the snow, I’m equally anxious about sliding off the road. In the rain, my mom and I got into an accident bad enough to deploy the airbags. I can’t forget how terrifying it was to hydroplane and spin out of control like that. In the snow, other drivers are cautious, making it easier to drive only as fast as I’m comfortable. But in the rain, there are some people who drive the same speed they would on a bright sunny day. That brings the peer pressure to keep up or the “I’m sorry, I’m sorry, just go around me” internal dialog.
This is not to say I’m miserable this spring. There have been some gorgeous days thus far, with more in the forecast. My first Wisconsin spring has brought days that feel like winter (#AprilSnowStorm) and days that feel like summer. Watching things bloom and turn green isn’t as marvelous as watching the leaves change in Fall, so Spring to me seems like the last hurdle to clear before I can spend every weekend in the water.