Monday, March 26, 2007

Spring, now springing, soon to be sprung.

Today is warm- 77 degrees, possibly.
All the snow melted while I was gone, which makes me a little sad- I kind of wish we had a little more winter. It just seemed too short- I didn't even get a chance to drag out the sled or pee my name in the snow (not as easy as it sounds, being a lady & all).

One of my favorite things about spring thaw is the miscellaneous junk, once hidden by a blanket of snow, now revealed. Shoes, mittens, empty bottles, babies, etc... some left on purpose...some, who-knows-what.
Right now there is a pair of "athletic" pants, you know- nylon, stripes down the legs, drawstring waist- just sitting in a crumpled, wet ball in my front yard. Did they fall out of someone's bag? Did a couple go out for a nighttime run, feel the need for a quickie, and just forget to put their pants back on? Who leaves pants in someone's yard? Maybe someone will come along who isn't bothered by found, wet clothing and will think they struck gold. I wouldn't want to deprive anyone of the joy of a new treasure.
I'm going to leave them, in case the owner comes back, looking for their pants.

Spring thaw where I grew up was always a season of anxiety and dread for me. We lived on a 1/4 mile-long dirt driveway that, in the spring, became a nightmarish swamp. We had to barricade it, so none of my uncles would try to drive it in a drunken haze. My dad crafted a barrier out of 2x4's, and until things dried up, we had to park at the end & walk.
This truly sucked. Especially in the dark, as you could encounter a "frost boil" at any moment and disappear forever, like the nice girls gone wrong on the "Minnesota Pipeline".

Frost boil, you ask? Pray tell, what ever could that be? Some sort of skin rash?

Well, darlings, when frost thaws on a dirt road & such, it sometimes turns into a seemingly bottomless mass of jello-like ooze. You usually can't tell it from your ordinary mud until you step on it, and possibly lose a shoe...or a leg. It has a vacuum-like quality that you really have to experience to appreciate, and people have been rumored to disappear in them, UFO-style.

I'm not sure if this happened to me or my gal Blondie, as we have told the story so many times I may have just absorbed it as mine, but one of us lost a moon boot in a nasty boil. Just stuck our foot in, playfully, and...sscchhhuuuuckk! It was gone. Literally. Never seen again. Perfectly good moon boot- gone. Try explaining that one to your pissed-off Mom.

You can very well understand my fear of spring growing up. No one wants to walk, often in the dark, in the woods, for what my little kid legs thought was at least 3 miles or so, with the fear of lost footwear or worse. Much worse. Plus, not having much of a grasp of geology and basic engineering at that age, I couldn't understand why we couldn't just pave it, like the rich kids' much-shorter driveways were.

Terrified and embarrassed. Pretty much sums up spring as a kid for me.

I am going to go and lay on my short, paved driveway now & kiss it.

Then I'm putting on my new pants & dancing on it.

Tomorrow: Mud monsters and how to protect yourself from them (first in a 2-part series).

1 comment:

T said...

Um, maybe I'm the only one out there who actually has lost a pair of pants. But not outside, thankfully. Not outside. In a kitchen, still a mysterious place for such a thing to happen, but certainly less horrifying than your driveway. I have no memory of how it happened or what may have transpired after. I'm sure it's for the best.

I haven't found anything good in the snow melt so far. Just more empty cereal boxes blown over from my slovenly neighbor's overflowing refuse can.