Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Life in the North East US of A!

I love spring and summer.  Let me just say that.  I really love spring - summer!  I love being warm.  I love driving with my sun roof open and windows down.  I love wearing flip flops - which usually means being barefoot.  Seriously, most of the summer my flip flops stay on the drivers' side floor of my car until I go into work or a store.  I love putting on a pair of shorts and a t-shirt and walking around.  I love walking through a park on a warm day.  I love laying a blanket down in an open field and laying out listening to some music and getting a tan.  Speaking of, I love getting a tan!  I love tossing a frisbee around.  The warm weather is just so much fun!

Still, I wonder though.  Would I enjoy these things as much without the winter months?  Without winter making me pasty white, I wouldn't have the joy of that first spring tan (which came on Friday, by the way!).  I really think that in the North East USA we have some truly awesome seasons.  We feel a big difference in all 4 seasons.  It's such a true blessing.  When the cold winter turns to warm flip flop weather, it is a nice change.  Then, when spring turns to blistering hot, humid summer days, we know.  It's a nice, slow easing into those kind of days.  Those hot and humid summer days are so awesome when we get a nice thunderstorm.  It cools the day a little and takes away some humidity.  And it's great to grab a frisbee and play some ultimate frisbee in a downpour!  Then, as summer fades away autumn starts.  A few chilly days creep into the forecast.  Mornings and evenings tend to be a little chilly while the day is still warm.  I have to admit, I really love those days.  Cool enough in the morning to wear a hoodie with shorts.  By mid morning beautiful and warm.  Then, slowly the days seem to get shorter as daylight fades.  The cool air of the mornings starts to stay throughout the day as winter approaches.  Winter brings such beauty with it too. A fresh snow falls and is just so awesome!  Winter sports can often be fun.  Snow ball fights, snowmen, skiing and snowboarding take the place of sun bathing and swimming.  Sipping hot chocolate by a fireplace takes the place of a frozen beverage next to the pool.  Then, slowly the process repeats as spring nears.  

Something else inspires me about the seasons though.  Autumn begins and the leaves start to change color (Oh, the beauty of driving through the mountains at this time!).  Eventually, these leaves give up as the die and fall off of trees.  The grass grows less and less green.  As winter rolls in, days get darker.  Mornings often consist of driving to work in the morning while it is dark.  Leaving work at the end of the day means driving back home in the dark many days.  Yet, when a fresh fallen snow arrives, we're reminded of the beauty in the darkness.  It is as if God is sending us a simple reminder that the darkness won't last forever.  There is still beauty in this world if we look for it.  For those of you who get snow, take a walk through a park after it snows.  It's so peaceful!  With the snow, another reminder seems to be sent.  One to slow down.  With snow and ice covering roads, we tend to drive a little slower.  We allow more time to get places.  I love driving around in West Chester and seeing how many will stop and help push other cars out of snowy ditches.  We tend to really hate having to shovel out our cars, scrape ice from our windshields and hope that we have enough traction to go anywhere.  But we also tend to be more understanding when others are late.  We don't always expect that everyone will conform to our schedule anymore.  The snowy weather brings a freedom to us.  A freedom to not be so uptight and fast paced as we in the North East tend to be.  For many, it's also a freedom to take a day off once in a while.  Like I said above, the winter fades.  Spring comes.  Life comes back.  We start by getting excited about a little groundhog un Punxsutawney, PA named Phil.  We anxiously await to see if he sees his shadow or not on Groundhog Day.  The legend is that if he sees his shadow, there will be six more weeks of winter.  It's a crazy legend and he is rarely ever right.  But we all seem to love it.  Soon, Facebook posts begin to be more about the first sightings of Robins in the area instead of snowy forecasts.  Life comes back to the grass.  We start by seeing ugly, brown grass as the snow melts.  And we find joy in that ugly brown grass.  We see beauty because we know that soon it will be green and full of life again.  It's another gentle reminder to see the beauty in all things.  As we move forward, we have rainy days mixed into the weather.  We know that the rain will lead to more life in the trees and plants.  We soon see leaves growing and flowers blooming.  We see people out for walks. Dogs playing in the park, kids outside playing.  It's now like God has breathed new life over the earth.  And it is good!  Finally, schools let out, and pools open.  As the days get hotter, those very pools become crowded with families and friends.  The fireplace is traded in for a pool raft.  Then, summer draws nearer to the end.  Plants that are so full of life begin to become dehydrated as it is drier outside.  These very plants and trees seemingly begin to beg for a rest.  Cue Autumn...repeat...

I think that I will always be a warm weather kind of guy.  But I have to admit, I love life in the North East in regards to our weather.  We really get the best of all 4 seasons.  The biter cold makes us thankful for the warmth.  The days where just walking outside causes us to break into a sweat makes us thankful for the chillier days.  

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