This past weekend was almost textbook perfect. Sunny to partly cloudy days in the 70's and a brief period of rain overnight, just to freshen everything up. Time to purty up the yard!
In Northern Illinois, spring creeps up on you slowly. March is your in-between month, where winter loosens it's grip and you get a few tantalizing days in the 60's ... just to give you a taste. You think April is going to be the turning point to good weather, but it often disappoints, with cold rain and nasty winds, and maybe even a stray snowflake here or there. But May is it. Even if the weather doesn't say so, your mind has had it, and it convinces you that it's time to start doing outside stuff.
And like me, almost everyone in our quaint little bedroom community was out in their yards. Mowing, mulching, digging, planting, clipping ... and at the end of each wonderful weekend day, moaning in agony as the body's muscles scream at you for still thinking that you're 15 years old. Because if you were 15, you sure as shit wouldn't be out in the yard trying to beat yourself into the ground. Youth is wasted on the young.
And at work this morning, almost everyone showed up grimacing and limping. Me because my muscles ached and I had tried to amputate a large portion of my right heel. And everyone had new color. Dark skin tones were darker. Medium skin tones were splotchy and normally lilly white skin tones were an angry red.
I'm kind of in-between the last two categories. My face is tanned, my neck is burned and my forearms are two-toned, just like a 1961 Chrysler Imperial. And by the end of the summer, I'll have an official "farmer's tan", because I refuse to take off my shirt outside, just as any self-aware 58 year old should never consider. My official reason is because my torso looks like I was second runner-up in a knife fight due to a series of unfortunate operations twenty years ago. But the real reason is because I don't have rock hard abs and pecs and glutes and all of those other manly muscle groups. But this doesn't seem to stop other men.
My personal favorite are males in the 250 to 300 pound range between the age of 40 and death, with skin the color of the underside of an Orca, and a scraggly rug on their chest and back. Invariably, they have impressive man-boobies that sag toward the side with nipples that point straight toward the earth. I'm so embarrassed for these mopes, that I have to avert my eyes before they are burned out of their sockets. How can these asswipes think that they look presentable?
A question as old as the ages, I'm sure.
But, like screaming kids in the evening, deafening motorcycles at 1:00 in the morning and almost nightly neighborhood fireworks from Memorial to Labor Day, it's all a part of summer.
Bring it on.