My Own Form of March Madness

This post has nothing to do with brackets or team mascots. It has everything to do with the month of March and why it’s arguably the best and worst time of the year to live in Minnesota.

Let’s begin on a positive note.

Why it’s the best: anticipation of things to come. The deep freeze has lifted, the ice has melted and we can leave the house without the air stinging our exposed skin. The sun feels warmer and the grass is greening up. Even the trees are starting to bud. Best of all, I was able to dust off my Raleigh and start regularly bike commuting once again.

But there is one almighty caveat regarding all of this, which leads me to the flip side:

Why it’s the worst: schizophrenic weather. Mother Nature has a personality disorder in March. In one week, I’ve gotten minor sunburn from a 70-degree day, then watched several inches of snow bury the newly sprouted lilies in our garden. What lies between these two extremes is a vast wasteland of overcast skies and 40 degrees. No matter how hard you try, there is not much you can do with that kind of day.

I go through the same thing every year: cabin fever-meets spring fever-meets March madness. I threaten to move somewhere better – sunnier, warmer. The siren song of California is strong and I start searching for open positions at the Patagonia headquarters in Ventura. My little family is fairly portable; Luke’s a freelancer and our cat Henry has no emotional ties to Minnesota – he hates being cold more than people do.

Then suddenly, almost magically, April arrives and Mother Nature goes back on her meds. She’ll occasionally relapse and give us 12 inches of fresh snow on Opening Day, but the worst is behind us. (Perhaps the world just seems like a nicer place when all of the windows are open.)

All I need to do is hang on and get through these last final weeks of winter. Then, everything will be all right. More than all right, actually. Magical. I look forward to the days of flopping into bed exhausted from running around like a kid juiced up on ice cream cones. I look forward to watching my freckles morph into one giant blanket of pigment that passes for a tan, and foregoing proper hygiene in the name of “camping.” We already bought a new tent in anticipation of the fun to come.

It can’t come soon enough.



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