Spring leaves should pop out any minute now

This was published in the April 25, 2018 edition of the Joplin Globe.

I’m worried that I’m going to miss spring again.

Not the whole season … that would be crazy. I think it would be pretty hard to not notice an entire season. Although now that I think about it, I seem to have misplaced a few years from the mid-1980s, so I guess anything is possible.

The part of spring I’m worried about missing is the part when the leaves return. Every year, I tell myself to keep an eye on the trees in our yard so I can track the slow return of the leaves.

Every day I glance out at the two trees in our front yard and the five in our backyard and look for signs of leaves. The goal is to get a real-time look at spring’s arrival.

But every year something happens. I get busy. I get distracted. I get complacent and then one day I look outside and say, “(Bad word) where did those leaves come from?” And just like that I’ve missed another spring.

It’s been an odd spring so far this year. It seems that spring has been putting one foot forward and then taking three feet back for almost a month now.

Just when you think spring has arrived in the form of sunny skies and temperatures in the 70s, it backs off, leaving us temperatures in the 40s and a chance for snow.

I don’t like that.

Of course there is a lot not to like about our weather these days. I’m tempted to blame things on climate change but I know if I do that I will get a lot of emails telling me that I’m a moron and that climate change is fake news.

So yes, it’s definitely climate change.

I don’t get as many angry emails as I used to. I guess that’s because I don’t make fun of politicians as often as I once did. One of the reasons for that is because making fun of politicians these days is sort of redundant.

In Jefferson City we’ve got “Fifty Shades of Greitens” and in Washington, D.C., we’ve got porn stars, playmates and Russians.

Oh my.

So now I just try to let the politicians make fun of themselves, freeing me up to write more about baseball and beer.

You know, to stop and smell the hops, as it were.

Actually, I just felt funny typing the words “as it were.” People who say things such as “as it were” also use the word “one,” as in “One would be a snob if one said ‘as it were.’”

I don’t come from “as it were” people.

I do listen to NPR occasionally, so I guess I have “as it were” people potential. But I don’t know. I’m afraid that if I said “as it were” when I was at St. Xavier’s High School in Junction City, Kansas, I would have wound up taped to a basketball goal.

I’ve decided that this year I’m really going to keep an eye on spring. This year, if spring thinks it can outlast me, it has another thing coming. This year, I’m going to watch the leaves for as long as it takes. It’s not as if I have a full plate. It seems to me that if I can’t find the time in a day to check on trees in our yard, then I need to re-evaluate my time management skills.

This spring, I’m also going to keep an eye on the robin that kept swooping onto our backyard porch. And the cardinal. And the blue jay.

Wow. All of a sudden my plate is getting full. But I guess that’s what you do when you get older. You still fill your plate. You just choose what to fill it with.

As it were.

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