Scratchin’ That Itch

It’s here again. Same time, every year, that ol’ itch that can’t be scratched begins. You feel it tingling in the darkness, you feel it when you’re splashing through ice cold puddles day after day. It’s gotten so bad that even the kids can feel it; their restless little bodies toss and turn endlessly. It’s the itch……. For sunshine.

            “Can we go outside and pway?” Andy whined, pressing his face against the window. He looked every inch the Dickensian urchin as he stared out sadly. “Andy, it’s pouring rain, and super windy. We can’t go outside; we’ll get blown away!” I answered, frowning at the smears he left on the glass. “But I waaaaanaa,” he continued, “I wanna go outside. Why is it always dark all the time?” Why, indeed? I’ve been asking the same question for thirty years! That’s what you get for living in the Pacific Northwest; nine months of rain, two months of summer, and one month of roadwork.

            Rain was a constant in my childhood, so I know how Andy feels. Months of wet shoes, wet socks, and ruined hair styles really got me down. There was mud in the playground, mud in the fields, and mud on the classroom floors. If you were brave enough to venture outside, you’d better hope you had an extra pair of socks (and shoes and pants). It’s hard not to be depressed when you’re inside twenty-two hours a day!

            The good news is the weather’s getting better. Minute by minute, hour by hour, the days are slowly getting longer. It’s so subtle you might not even notice, but it’s there. The darling buds of May are stretching out, gently reaching for the sun. Remember what it feels like to open your front door and feel a warm breeze? Me neither, because I open the door and am blasted with icy air that freezes my innards.

            So, hang in there, Andy, we’re in the home stretch. Soon it’ll be t-shirt weather, and soon after that it’ll be bathing suit weather. We’ll all come back to life in the sweet Canadian sunshine. Until then, just be grateful; after all, I’m the one mopping the mud off the floor and desperately drying your shoes and socks!