I don’t love winter. Cold, dark, hopeless. Scraping car windows in the dark. Jamming kids legs into snow pants. Falling on my ass thanks to unshoveled sidewalks.
But when you are a wee bit antisocial, like me, winter can be kind of cool. Everyone stays in their little caves, keeping warm, not making small talk, keeping to themselves.
Then, the temperatures rise, the snow recedes.
The weird shit starts.
Last week, we’re out for a walk. We’re on a quiet, residential avenue. Suddenly, this car comes ripping past. It’s doing about 70 km/h (that’s 45, my lovely American friends). Dust is flying, my 5 year old is awed. There’s a woman driving; middle aged, dark hair, sunglasses. The car is a black Jag. She has her hazard lights going, and she is staring straight ahead. Odd. A couple of days later, we’re walking again, this time on a quiet, residential avenue, but one block south. We hear a car going abnormally fast. We turn in time to see a white BMW ripping past. Hazards on. It’s the same woman. Different cars, different street, same woman. Is she from some exotic country, where as long as you have the hazards on, everything is nice and legal? Is she some kind of daredevil (albeit a rather pathetic one)? Is this how spring fever manifests itself in a small segment of the population?
The neighborhood I live in is old. Property lines don’t mean a lot, and our houses are kind of built on top of each other in some places. Our back deck gives us an unavoidable view into the neighbor’s backyard. Yesterday, I look over and there’s an old hospital gurney in their backyard. Both guys who live there are able bodied; it’s not like there’s an invalid in residence. And it might not be so weird, but we had to take an old metal hospital bed out of our place when we moved in. What the hell were these houses used for?
We’re at the park today. My kids have this weird fascination with picnic tables. They are compelled to climb on one if they spot it. (We could be at Disney World, in front of Space Mountain, no line-up, and they’d be, like, “Hey! A picnic table! We gotta climb that!) Naturally, that’s where we end up. The melting snow is leaving behind all sorts of…ahem…treasures (Hand sanitizer and hope. That’s all I’ve got.) There’s this little pile under the table that had been under snow a week ago. There’s a plastic baggie of baby wipes, another baggie with a baby’s washcloth, carefully folded . A white shirt and yellow pants, way too big for a kid who would require wipes or a baby washcloth. A curled, faded picture of a young, unsmiling aboriginal woman. And a can opener.
Spring = transition.
And transition is weird.