One of the few things I used to really like about living in Grand Rapids was that first truly spring-like day after the insanely long winter. You know, that day when sun came out and the temperature suddenly spiked twenty-five degrees. You shed the winter coat and run around in the melting snow outside in your shorts and a t-shirt. Colors seem extra vibrant. Smells return. You open up all the house windows, shake out the rugs. That day is so distinctly good that it almost makes the relentless gloom worth it.
Yakima seems not to have that dramatic spring moment. It’s more gradual here. Three or four days a week for much of the winter are sunny. Blue-skied days in the forties are pretty normal. Heck, we hit sixty for a couple days in January. We haven’t had snow stick on the ground for at least a month now. I noticed yesterday that soccer practices have started in the park. It’s still very foreign to me to live in a place we’re people can confidently schedule outdoor sports practices in February. I’m pretty sure consistent days in the fifties will be coming in the next couple of weeks. We’ve started to get hints of it this week. I walked the dogs in the park last night to the sounds of chirping birds and pinging baseball bats. The thermometer on the back of the house is creeping clockwise.
The first spring like day and, in my opinion, the first truly fall day are the best thing about Grand Rapids. Theres something about the smell in the air.
When I got up this morning it was still 79 degrees in our apartment. We had (and have had for a couple weeks now) the windows open all night. Its all I can do to keep from turning the AC on when it gets into the mid 80s in the shade, in February.
That moment already happened but then quickly disappeared. It was over 60 degrees on February 10.
I guess that’s the other side of the coin. The sixty degree tease followed by a blizzard a few days later. Or maybe that’s a bit of the masochistic appeal. The repeated “Hey, maybe this time it’s for real!” moment.
I think Mary would be in heaven if our house were 79 degrees.