Friday, March 10, 2006

Spring has sprung

I think I handle DC winters pretty well for a Californian. Granted, our winters don’t tend to be as terrible as they could be, and I’m from Northern California, where it did get sort of cold during the winter months. The colder weather here is still a bit novel for me, and for awhile I don’t mind it too much, especially when we get some snow. It turns out, though, that sometime toward the end of February I reach my breaking point. I just get to the point where I don't want to cope with it anymore. In a conversation with a friend in Southern California a couple of weeks ago, I made light of the weather, saying that yes, it was only going to get up to 35 that day, but by mid-week it was supposed to be back up in the 50s.

“Back up in the 50s?” He sounded appalled.

Shortly after that conversation, my patience with the weather wore off. I felt cranky all the time. I stood in front of my closet in the morning, wrinkling my nose at the sweaters I’d been wearing all winter, looking wistfully at the skirts that had been shoved down to the end of the rod.

During the winter I changed my route between work and the Metro, opting for a longer walk that lengthened my train ride by one station, because at least on that route I didn’t have to cross the Key Bridge, where I think it is a good 15 degrees colder from the wind over the Potomac. On Thursday the National Park Service announced the prediction for the cherry blossoms, and that evening, I left work and headed for the bridge.

People were out walking their dogs through Georgetown, talking with their neighbors. Most of the trees are still bare, but I noticed little buds on a forsythia in one yard (at least, I think it was a forsythia—it looked similar to what someone informed me is a forsythia in front of my old apartment, but the buds weren’t yellow. Can a forsythia have white flowers?), and some of the bulbs that have been trying to come up since our warm weather at the end of January are finally starting to look like they will bloom. I passed over the Key Bridge, wearing a cotton sweater, my pea coat tucked under my arm. The eight crew teams that I counted reminded me of the bugs that skated across the surface of the creek near my house during the summers when I was little.

Today was even better. Even this morning I was comfortable walking to work in a t-shirt and jeans. This evening, the sidewalks were packed with people. Restaurants in Georgetown had their front windows opened up to the street. A lot of women were wearing skirts, and I eyed them enviously, and wiggled my toes in my shoes, wishing I had at least worn sandals. I sat outside with bare feet, sipping a drink and waiting for The Husband to get home as it grew dark.

It’s supposed to be back down in the 50s next week, but I’m trying not to think about that.


Mary Tsao said...

Great image! Pretty soon you'll have lots of those warm summer nights. That's what I miss about living in the midwest. Here in the bay area nights are usually chilly.

I'm looking forward to wearing skirts, too. Enough with these turtlenecks!

Elizabeth said...

I kind of miss the chilly summer evenings. After growing up in the bay area, it took time to get used to not needing a sweater at night. The first 4th of July I spent here I was laughed at by friends when they realized I had a sweatshirt and a jacket with me for the evening's fireworks display. I didn't need either.

Christie Grabyan said...

I'm with you Liz. Last year in SF, the 4th was miserable - I was standing on a rooftop in the Marina to watch fireworks, wearing a long-sleeved shirt, sweatshirt, scarf, and gloves, and I was so cold still! Also, the city clears out for the 4th. This year I will either be in Boston or Tahoe, dammit.