The glories of spring are out there — somewhere
Yes, spring really is the most glorious season in Iowa.
Except for the gale-force winds. Which pound on you and pound on you so you can’t enjoy working in the yard, and when you go to a Little League game the dirt whacks you in the eyeballs and the occasional right fielder sails past your head.
Then you’re finally feeling cozy in your house when a gust rips into your only decent tree and down comes a major limb, a ton of dead weight crushing some shrubs or patio furniture, or maybe pulling down a power line. Then you have to spend a couple of hours without electricity and that’s not good, because it leaves you alone with your thoughts, which always leads to trouble.
But other than that, spring is an absolute marvel of blooming flowers and chirping birds, and you wouldn’t want to miss any part of it.
Except for the hailstorms. Boy, you do not want to be driving in a hailstorm, because once you see dents in that hood, you’re in for a nightmare even if the dent-puller you saw on a low-budget commercial really would work. And after it fails to work, the insurance adjuster is going to accuse you of going wild with a ball-peen hammer just to give him a hard time.
And when the TV weather experts predict nickel- and quarter-sized hail and then add, “We’ve had reports of egg-sized pieces,” you can’t help wondering whether they’re just saying that so they can put it on the highlight tape for their annual drunken party. But if egg-sized hail really is falling someplace around here, then you can’t help thinking that whatever those cute little rabbits and squirrels and birds are getting paid, it isn’t enough.
Fortunately, truly violent storms are such a small fraction of the season, which is marked by warming temperatures and the return of pleasant outdoor activities.
But steady rain is no bargain, either, when enough water pours out of the sky to float the U.S.S. Kitty Hawk in your back yard. The grass shoots up but you can never get it mowed, no, because whenever you have time to try, that’s when a few more tons of precipitation fall on your head.
Accompanied by lightning, of course. We’re sitting around worried about dwindling energy supplies when every minute the planet is bombarded by enough voltage to fry every cow in Texas. So they tell you that if you feel a tingling in your body, a charge might be getting ready to leap between you and the sky, and you should act quickly. Well, that’s good to know. But chances are you’re not going to come up with a really solid plan of action in the next half-second, are you? You’ve been working on a retirement plan for decades and all you have to show for it are some brochures about Sarasota.
But, thank goodness, many spring days drift by with no rain or hail whatsoever. Just clouds. Never-ending gray days that make you feel like you’re living inside a sock.
Yeah, it’s some season, this Iowa springtime. But at least it isn’t winter. You do not want to be around for that.