As I write this, the wind is whipping fiercely around my window, my feet are tucked snugly beneath my thighs and the gas tank downstairs in my house is furiously pumping away. This is the way things happen every year - the cold weather resurfaces each winter, and I respond by retreating to my house and not leaving for anything besides work.
It's a depressing, frustrating time of year. Depressing, in that I feel useless for not getting up off the couch and living life to a fuller extent. And frustrating for the fact that if I try to venture out the door, I just end up uncomfortable, irritated and not wanting anything more than to come back inside.
But when the seasons change, everything changes. Every year I'm usually the first person I know wearing shorts and sandals, besides of course for that guy who wears shorts all winter long and pretends not to be cold. We all know one of those guys, I'm sure. Forget about it man, I want to say. We all know you're cold, we can see your goosebumps. Just wear pants like a normal person.
I'm not that guy. But I do love to dress light. And this summer, I'll be putting my love for warm weather to the test in some of the more southern locales, like the fourth of July in Hotlanta, or the week in Texas during the middle of September. My mother has begged me not to go to Death Valley, but doggone it, I just can't resist it.
To me, the summer is like awakening from hibernation, taking a break from one of the many constraints that this body of mine uses to impede my ability to enjoy the world around me. In college, our summertime began not so much when school got out, but when the creek was warm enough for us to go tubing. Likewise, this year, my summer on May 31 - the day our trip begins.
Homer Simpson once said, "When you're my age, you miss every summer." And I used to think that was true.
Not this year.