I am not entirely sure that I really knew what Spring was in my BW (Before Wisconsin) life. Yeah, I went through the calendar time period  that is called Spring BW. Yes, I noticed flowers sprouting and romance in the air BW. Sure I could tell a difference in the temperature each day and the lengthening of the day BW. But Spring in Wisconsin is different.

I am not trashing on the other places I have lived BW. I have pretty much loved certain things about every place I have ever lived. Being raised in Alabama there is something special about driving and seeing dogwood trees blooming all over the woods. The wildflowers that grew like waves of color along the roads in Texas were an amazing part of Spring. The opening of trout season in Missouri with anglers “fishing” shoulder to shoulder, while odd, is an intrinsic part of Spring in the Ozarks in my mind. Finally, the Mardi Gras season in Louisiana (and Alabama since Mardi Gras in the US started there) and the community that forms around bringing a King Cake to the office every day are linked with Spring for me.

But Spring in Wisconsin is different and it has to do with the Winter we just went through. In the Winter many people up here do just like many people in the South do during the Summer. They hole up in the homes. This isn’t true of all. Lots of us loved the outdoors during the Winter. Still being outside in the Winter is different than the Spring (and Summer). You don’t really lounge around outside during the Winter, or if you do it doesn’t usually go that well. We enjoy Winter activities, but I am not sure that is the same as enjoying the Winter environment. That changes when Spring starts to show up. People get excited about the longer days and the warmer weather. I am typing this in Zest coffee shop while I wait on an appointment and I have already heard two people greet each other by saying something similar to ” Spring has finally arrived. Isn’t it wonderful.”

People in Wisconsin LOVE the Spring. When we moved to Wisconsin and Pam started working at UWSP she was told that at one time the university had an unofficial holiday called “50 degree day.” This was the first day of Spring that the outside temperature hit 50 degrees or more. All the professors would cancel class and/or the all the student would skip their classes and everyone would party on campus. Imagine 10,000 people celebrating the weather.

This still sort of happens. Yesterday everyone flooded outside. It is whats happens in Wisconsin when Spring starts to display itself. Everyone goes outside. Maybe they are running or biking. Lots of dogs are being walked. People work on cars and yards. Frisbees are thrown by grandparents and grandchildren.  Supper becomes a house optional experience. Really, it feels like EVERYONE is outside. Yesterday while running I saw a couple of people who had actually moved their recliners outside. They were just sitting outside talking.

That’s what Spring feels like up here in Wisconsin. A time when everyone rushes outside for whatever reason they can think of and the roads feel kind of like a parade because of all the people walking around on them. The rush outside is infectious. Even tough the calendar says Spring started a few weeks back, yesterday it felt like it really had begun. Happy Spring.

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