I walked to the bus stop this morning with my jacket unzipped for the first time this year. This is no small milestone, as at seven in the morning it can be quite chilly even during the warmest parts of the year. But today is warm; the first of many, I hope.
Spring is the time I feel luckiest to live here, with all that managed beauty not far away. And there is still more to see; I have not yet been to the mother lode – the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew – or even to Leonardslee, a beautiful garden practically on my doorstep.
But wherever you are—even if you are not lucky enough to live in Britain—I hope you are making the most of your spring.
And oh, the dashed hopes. There’s a saying which is accredited to everywhere in the USA (except bits of California) “If you don’t like the weather in ------, wait five minutes and it’ll change.” Or as Mark Twain put it, “In the Spring, I have counted 136 different kinds of weather inside of 24 hours.” Quite. In Chicago temperatures regularly drop a full 40 degrees (Farenheit) in as many hours.
In climates like this, your winter and summer wardrobes are completely different and not at all interchangeable. In the summer it’s far too hot for jeans, and in the winter naught but an Arctic parka will do. This necessitates the “seasonal wardrobe switch-out”, which often takes a whole weekend, sees the shelves in stores stripped of under-the-bed zipper bags, and dry-cleaners working 24/7 as the city’s masses take their winter wear for a quick fumigate before storing them till November.
Unfortunately, Chicago’s version of Spring goes something like:
Today – very hot and humid by 9am. Guess this heavy, long-sleeved t-shirt has to be changed then.
Yesterday – I thought they said it was going to be in the 70’s. What is this 50’s and freezing weather, and more to the point, where’s my parka?
Day before – “But mom, it’s warm. I don’t need my jacket for school”. Six hours later – “Why didn’t you tell me about the freezing rain? I’m frozen and drenched.”
You get the picture. I keep packing my sweaters away, only to drag them out again the next day. After twenty years here, you’d think I’d learn really. By the time we get a decent Spring around these parts, it’s Summer. Yay!
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