This is something I wrote during a Free Writing & Poetry workshop led by a good friend. They are some of my memories of growing up in Central NY and how the seasons left an impact on my soul. - Thanks for reading. 

Spring, is it here? Above freezing for a full week. No jacket required and yes, I know it's only 38 degrees but that's 40 degrees warmer than it was last month. The buds on the trees, I know what they'll bring, a rake and a wheelbarrow about 7 months from now. Is that a patch of green over there in the lawn? Soaked with the remaining snow, the thawing ground and an occasional storm reminding us who is making the rules. Seems like each morning I slip on a patch of ice refrozen from the night before. We'll be fishing soon, mid May, isn't that right Dad? "Hold your mouth right" he'd always tell me. It took me decades to figure out that meant I was talking too much. 

The summer months. Long days turn into nights outside. Mosquitos and no alarm clock. The days hot & damp. The sounds of cicadas during the day and house fans during the night. I got to sleep on the porch in the summer. I think that was so I'd be closer to the lawnmower the next morning. I never minded cutting the grass. Push mowing 3 acres...seemed like 300. And don't forget Mrs. Peterson down the road. She had a good 5 acres and push mowed it well into her 80's...none of these "self-propelled gadgets." 

The sounds of school buses after Labor Day. My Mom or Dad telling me it was time to get up for school...again. The changing leaves and that rake I mentioned, yeah, an old friend. Seemed like we burned a mountain of leaves every weekend. Who in their right mind buys a house with 8 huge maple trees in the yard? The fall also brought out jeans and a sweatshirt. Apples picked off the tree when we paid for apples on the ground. And snagging salmon in the river as they came home to spread life and die. 

"The winter is coming..." Yup, I've heard that before. Who know's when it'll get here; I've seen snow before Halloween. There are the Holidays to take away some of the bite...and the snow days, not nearly enough though. If the bus is pushing snow with it's grill, isn't that enough to call it? I traded my rake for a shovel, my wheelbarrow for a closet of clothes, all of them cotton, all of them hand-me-downs. It's called "lake effect". Snow on steroids. Accept it. It's not going anywhere for another, who knows how long. 

Do you know what I'd give for 38 & muddy?

Will spring just get here...