Spring = Weird

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.

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10 responses to “Spring = Weird

  1. I’m gonna have to insist you track down the hazard lights lady and find out what she’s up to. I GOTTA KNOW!!! 😐 I’ll wait here while you check on that.

  2. Did you take the stuff from under the table? It sounds useful. Especially the picture! Story starter . . . a 48 hours kind of mystery . . . or (hopefully not) something for Project Kare.

    M

  3. Picnic Tables? Those are my kind of kids – easy pleasy!

    I only use my hazards when I’m parked illegally. It’s my safeguard against angry stares and police cars.

  4. Peter: I’m on it! (Actually, I’m on the couch. My laziness is well documented). As much as people speeding through my relatively quiet neighborhood scare me, I can’t wait to see her again. I’m totally flagging her down the next time.

    Micheal: I don’t even know what to think about the pile. I do know that I won’t forget it anytime soon. I’m open to the possibility that the can opener wasn’t part of the original bundle of items, but that really takes away from the weirdness.

    Maria: Oh my god, me too! “You can’t judge me! These hazards indicate that I am having an EMERGENCY! I am not a bad driver!” It never really works, though. I am so very susceptible to angry stares. They’re my kryptonite.

  5. I love winter, it is probably my favorite season. But, I live in California. That might change radically if I lived in Canada. I suspect your winters are a little harsher up there.

    Love the hazard woman.

  6. I actually spend a lot of time wondering how much nicer (and younger looking) I’d be if I lived in California. There probably wouldn’t be a difference, but I’m a dreamer.

  7. I don’t know what it is about BMW SUVs, but they are always trying to run me over.

    Next time you go walking in that spot again, bring a stuffed animal with you and throw it in the street right before she passes. Make sure you have a string tied around it so you can pull it back before she gets out the car to check on it.

  8. Dear Kitty:

    You are nefarious.

    Love, Ginny

  9. You’re going to do it aren’t you?

    Bring the camera.

  10. Pingback: All Day Sucker | Praying to Darwin

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