When Spring Has Sprung in Illinois

April 17, 2013

By Joanie Stiers

biking in spring in illinois

Ahh, how we enjoy the arrival of spring, the most anticipated season of the year for those of us now bored with hot cocoa and board games.

Spring is most commonly defined as the first stretch of warm temperatures in late winter. This season of rising temperatures sparks an unofficial celebration that marries a mix of traditions associated with other holidays. We buy brats and burgers for the grill, wear “costumes” of rubber boots and sweatpants, and find a new motivation to exercise and meet that weight-loss resolution set more than two months ago.

It’s sunny and 50 degrees, but based on our reactions, you’d think it’s 70. Here are 10 activities you may catch us Midwesterners attempting when the temperature reaches 12 degrees warmer than the refrigerator.

1. Act like it’s summer. Some of us seem willing to go coatless (or even risk muddy toes in sandals) in this weather, which would have Arizonians grabbing stocking caps from the back of the closet. Then we blame our final winter sniffles on the changing weather.

2. Take a walk or ride a bike. Then we feel better about eating ice cream at the local year-round parlor with indoor seating.

3. Create outdoor honey-do lists. Like Christmas, rising temperatures prompt us to write down what we want: A clutter-free garage, spotless windows, tuned lawnmower and clean gutters.

4. Drive through puddles and saturate our shoes in ones we didn’t see. Then we grumble and set our children loose with rubber boots so that we can give the garage some undivided attention.

5. Go to the carwash, drive past and hope the lines shorten later.

6. Visit the home improvement store. We browse the growing seasonal display of flowerpots and yard tools, and then take home a full grill tank and plenty of good intentions.

7. Surrender to the filth and wait in line at the carwash. We become satisfied to realize we are positioned behind the least dirty of vehicles. Then we learn the driver paid for liquid wax and a blow dry.

8. Drive a motorcycle, if we have one.

9. The rest of us put our hands out the window in the wind. The relaxing nature of coasting a limp hand into forced air brings back stress-free childhood memories.

10. Take a final deep breath before sunset. We slowly inhale the fresh air through our noses as if our grandmother were roasting a Thanksgiving turkey.

Ahh, how we enjoy the arrival of spring in our own interesting ways.

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