Sunday, February 5, 2017

Here comes (more of) the sun - can we Mainers handle it?

A week or so ago I was on my way home from work when it hit me. The sun, that is. It was shining brightly in the sky – a little too brightly – and almost blinded me through the car windshield. I struggled to sit up straighter (i.e., higher), pretending the sun visor was effective. It wasn’t. Somehow I managed to maneuver my way around the sunshine and reach my destination without taking out the toll booth.

Don’t take any of this as complaining. I’m ecstatic that the days are getting just a little longer with each bit of sunshine that stretches across the sky. It hasn’t exactly been a brutal winter (yes, I know saying that immediately places a curse on the next month), but I doubt that I’m the only one who’s ready for a strong dose of vitamin D. Ironically, now that the days are getting longer my work days inside seem to be dragging. I long to be skipping out of the office and catching some fresh air, even on very brisk days.  Isn’t it a few months too early for spring fever?

Thanks to 30-something temps, I recently had been starting to slowly shed my winter wear. First it was leaving the gloves at home, then my warm and wooly winter cap remained in the car when I walked from garage to office. I was this close to leaving my scarf behind when the temps plummeted again. I am currently reluctantly back to being bundled up.

The problem with this time of year is that it’s also cold season. With our most recent cold snap opening the windows and filling the place with fresh air hasn’t been an option, and right now the cold germs are living it up like they’re at a Club Med for parasites. I’m willing to bet that each of us is six degrees or less from someone with a temp that’s a few degrees above normal. There are sniffles at work, at school and at every store you enter. I cringe when I get a sniffling cashier and I’ve been taking full advantage of the wipes many stores now offer to clean shopping cart handles. E-mail messages announcing someone’s absence at work have become the norm lately, and it seems like tissues are added to every recent office supply order. Both daughters have battled colds from two very different climates – Atlanta, Georgia and Central-Somewhere, Pennsylvania. So far Spouse and I have remained healthy, but with each cough or sneeze I’m stand poised to grab some extra vitamin C.

Along with more sunshine, I am also looking forward to not turning into an icicle while sitting in my car waiting for the defrost to kick in at the end of the work day. Spouse is hardly supportive of the fact that I need to hold my hands in front of the heater vents while driving. I don’t understand the issue – my thumbs are still on the steering wheel.

2 years ago - Snowmageddon!
Today the Superbowl is taking place in Houston, Texas, in case you didn’t get the memo. Will our New England Patriots be at a disadvantage surrounded by that much sun? Will the retractable roof play a part in keeping bad weather out? Wait - is there bad weather in Houston? I’m pretty sure the competition is good with not standing by an open flame to warm up between plays. And let’s admit it, the Patriots are used to performing in inclement weather. I’d prefer to see an occasional snow squall or, at the very least, a reason for Tom Brady to bundle up in that huge jacket, which seems to bring good luck.

In a few weeks Spouse and I will be visiting family in Kansas. I’ll venture a guess that they see more sun than we do in Maine, considering current Kansas temps are 25 degrees higher than ours. But we won’t be relocating to a warmer climate any time soon. We’re too used to getting vitamin D in very small doses.

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