Too Much Paradise?

I know, right? Too much paradise? That’s almost an oxymoron. After all, how could you get enough? Can you get enough? That’s what I’m wondering.

The last couple weekends were the first nice ones we’ve had in Iowa. The trees are budding, the lawns greening and spring flowers blooming. It’s hard not to want to just go outside and bask. I found myself just staring out the window a lot when I couldn’t be out there. There’s no season as welcome, as awe-inspiring as spring.

And that always makes me wonder about the places in the country, or the world, that really don’t have highly differentiated seasons. Oh, some seasons may be rainier. Warmer. But the temps stay relatively balmy all year and it never gets cold. There are actually places, I’m told, where residents don’t have to weigh whether wearing a woolen hat is worth the damage it’ll do to the hairstyle. Where women don’t have to debate fashion vs. warmth when choosing outerwear. (It’s a little known fact of aging that the older we get, the more likely we are to chuck fashion in favor of comfort and warmth. Last winter I even started wearing snow boots to school. Sometimes. But the day I ever don one of those plastic rain bonnets is the day you have permission to put me away for good!)

On days like last weekend I frequently wonder if people in sunny warmer climes can feel the same sort of joy at spring’s advent as do those who have suffered through a hellish winter in snowy frigid areas of the country. If every day is mild, with plenty of blue skies and sun, can you really have that same arms-wide-open-face-tipped-to-the-sun-happy-feet reaction to the first nice day in spring? As a midwesterner my entire life, I’m asking here.

I marveled on the way to church yesterday at the complete absence of cars in the streets. There was no traffic. Streets were nearly deserted. The church was half full. And I knew, I just knew, that most of those missing people could be found in their yards. Because there’s even a sort of joy working on those first nice days in spring. Being outside in the beautiful weather becomes a sort of spiritual experience of its own.

If you’re a sun bird, living in one of the more temperate states, how do you herald spring’s approach? Is it much different from winter? And for those who suffer with me through winter (and what has surely been the longest last two winters in my life) do you have anything special you like to do once spring arrives in your neck of the woods?

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20 Responses to Too Much Paradise?

  1. Terry Odell says:

    I lived in Orlando for 22 years, and Miami for 13 prior to that. No seasons. OK, Orlando had summer and February 3rd, but that was about it.Weather changes were taken as they came through, and were never expected to last long (except for that hot-sticky).This year, Orlando had at least 2 weeks of cold weather, and I enjoyed it.Now I'm living in Colorado. Bring on the seasons!

  2. Kathleen O says:

    I live in Ontario, Canada and I am always looking forward to spring, when I can finally where normal shoes and put away the winter boots. And the winter sweaters, jackets, scarves and gloves.. I having snow for just a bit at Christmas and then POW.. please make winter go away..

  3. Helen Brenna says:

    Oh, Kylie, we did have a beautiful weekend, didn't we? And this week's supposed to head into the 70s. I even suffer from spring allergies, but I can't wait to have my windows and door wide open!

  4. Cindy Gerard says:

    I know when spring is officially here the day I can hang up the hammock! It's like a celebration for me to take it out of mothballs (rhetorically speaking) and stretch it out on the corner of the deck. NOTHING says paradise to me like knowing that when time permits, I can now grab a book, a glass of ice tea and turn on the tunes and just rock away for a few minutes (maybe even sneak in a half an hour) and indulge myself, hammock style. Ah … paradise.

  5. KylieBrant says:

    Terry, I do always wonder about Florida and parts of California. Of course I know Florida has the humidity in summer, but I do wonder about the sameness of the temps. Wonderful temps, to be sure! But I know I'd miss spring. I'd miss fall. And maybe I'd miss two weeks of winter, LOL!

  6. KylieBrant says:

    Kathleen, oy! I am so sorry my Canadian friends have been socked so hard by winter this year. If it seemed long to me, it must be feel infinite to you! Wafting some spring up your way!

  7. KylieBrant says:

    Helen, my allergies are in full swing too but it doesn't dent our enthusiasm a whit,does it?

  8. KylieBrant says:

    Cindy, you can't fool me. Now that you've got the fabo spa done at your house, the hammock will be hanging in the bathroom all winter!

  9. Kylie, I'm in SoCal (and grew up in NoCal) and it's really a misconception that we don't have seasons or that our weather is always nice. It's raining here today! Though, yes, it was in the 80s a few short days ago.We have different kinds of seasons. May Gray, June Gloom. Late spring/early summer are very cool. Oh, and the water temp of the Pacific off the CA coast is cold! (That's why our summers aren't too too hot.)So, spring is joyful here too, just different. We'll get warm days in January when the jade plants begin to bloom and throw off a sweet, lovely scent. Then we'll be cold again, then warm, then foggy. Visit us in late summer and fall! Best weather.

  10. Keri Ford says:

    reaching 80s again here today!I don't know Kylie. i think I'll take paradise and visit friends or family during those colder parts of the year. seems to be less clothes to wash when it's warm out.

  11. KylieBrant says:

    Christie, you must be close to San Francisco? I'll admit, I was shocked when I heard about the weather there before we had Nationals in SF. Had no idea that August-Sept. were the best months!

  12. KylieBrant says:

    Keri, we take a week most years in March and go tropical. But we're getting weary of being hemmed in by my school calendar. It will be nice to be able to go whenever we want and stay longer than a week!My dh and I were just talking yesterday about the day we can rent a condo in FL for the month of Jan, LOL. Don't think I'd want to be gone alllll winter but some of it would sure be nice!

  13. Ah, spring. I love to dig around in the dirt. Love watching the woodsy critters. Love taking stock of the daily changes–buds to tiny leaves–they almost pop before your very eyes. And spring green. Is there a prettier shade of that glorious color? I've lived a lot of places, and I do love changing seasons. I've said it before–humidity is my least favorite weather condition. I love to travel and taste all kinds of air–well, except the polluted stuff–but give me seasons!

  14. Michele Hauf says:

    Yesterday was so gorgeous I wanted to start planting. But woe to we Midwesterners who plant before mid-May! I did set out my cactus on teh deck to soak up some sun. It was very happy about that.

  15. Is anyone watching "The Pacific" on HBO? I remember the 2 years we spent on Guam when I was growing up. (Air Force daddy.) It was a great experience, but I'm watching the WWII series–fabulous, by the way–and seeing a vivid portrayal of how the weather became another enemy during the war in the Pacific. Every student of history should check out this series.

  16. KylieBrant says:

    Kathleen, there's a curious delight in walking up and down along the flower beds to see what's coming back. I just dearly love bleeding hearts and columbine. Love them! So I'm thrilled to see both BH's coming back and most of the Columbine. Can't wait to start planting again!

  17. KylieBrant says:

    Michele, my husband mentioned that the date yesterday was the first day farmers could plant and have the crop covered by crop insurance. Meaning, if course, that soil temp is completely different from air temp!But it looks like the farmers might have an early spring this year. That should make him happy!

  18. Deb says:

    Hi, Kylie. I live in a small town, not far from Cindy G., and several people walked to church yesterday. Uh, no, I drove the 3 blocks there! My excuse is I had things to take for my S.S. class. :)I did work in the yard a little bit in the afternoon and spread some mulch. But I also walked around to see what perennials were coming up and was glad to see my bluebells and lilies of the valley popping up.I'm a teacher, too, and my fifth graders are already getting spring fever, followed closely by their teacher, LOL!Happy spring to you!

  19. KylieBrant says:

    Hey Deb! Yes, I do a daily inventory on what's popping up, too. And I'm trying not to think about how few days are left. Although my kids have been thinking about it for weeks already!

  20. Betina Krahn says:

    Ahhhh, spring. Yes we do have seasons here in FLA-land. And this year we definitely had a winter. Freezes and all. Our grass turned brown and is still struggling to come back. The oaks lost all of their leaves at one time and looked bare and stark– not the usual. They usually lose them a few at a time and never look this bad. But the spring green is out and everything is coming back. And the dry seasong is coming on– which is April and May. . . gorgeous temps and little to no rain. (That's the time to do Florida!) The rainy season usually starts in June, and for three months or more we get almost daily rainstorms in the afternoon that cool everything off.That whole "beautiful temps, always the same" that's a myth. We get quite a bit of fluctuation here on the west coast of Florida. As a transplant from Minnesota, I was a little shocked at how seldom I get to throw open the "sliders" and welcome the outside air in!One of the signs of spring I adore down here is the mockingbird songs and the sight of fuzzy baby sandhill cranes following their parents all over. Like the Canadian geese I had in my yard in Minnesota. . . just too cute!Kylie, we need spring just as much as you northerners do this year!

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