Linda Stamper Boyne: Spring tickles the Vail Valley
Vail, CO, Colorado
Skiing the other day in Beaver Creek, I suddenly realized that not only was the air warm, but the sun was actually hot against my face.
Global warming? Perhaps. But what it really meant to me was that spring is here! Yea!
My realization was further confirmed when I saw the line of Adirondack chairs outside Spruce Saddle, all facing south and awaiting skiers to strip down to their base layers and enjoy the sunshine.
(On a totally unrelated note: I realize the chairs were named for the famous region in the Northeast where they graced many a porch, but if they’re sitting at a resort in the Rocky Mountains, shouldn’t we rename them? The Rocky Recliner? The Colorado Chaise? Just a thought.)
I’m usually amongst the minority, secretly willing warm weather to come quickly, for the days to get longer. But it still sort of takes me by surprise when it happens. I think I get into my winter mindset: it is cold, there is snow, I can’t change the weather, accept it, put on a coat and move on with the day. So then I’m jolted into spring each year. Man, I love that jolt, though!
Sure, I know it’s going to snow some more. It’s probably snowing while you’re reading this. But it’s the promise of what’s to come that I love so much.
So, as I felt the sun warm my skin, the longings for spring sprang forth freely. Oh, to sit on a sun-drenched deck with a cold cocktail. To wear flip flops and ignore the cold toes because it’s really still too cold to be wearing them, but, darn it, it’s spring. To take a hike just before sunset with man’s best friend to enjoy the beauty and splendor that is our valley. (Oh, yes. I just used the word splendor.)
There’s a lot of talk about the economic downturn hitting the valley with full force as soon as the mountains close. Layoffs and budget cuts and recession, oh my! We may be facing a tough spring, but let us not forget that most of us live here by choice and we can do what it takes to ride out this storm, as we have many others.
And if you get a little down, turn off the talk radio and get out in the sunshine for a little physical activity. With the proper amount of sunscreen, there’s just no way to be bummed out in the sun.
Do all those things you can’t do in the winter: hop on a bike and actually go somewhere, hike without snowshoes, play tennis outside (sure, the nets aren’t up yet, but doesn’t that just make it all a little more interesting?), start working on your putting and chipping, climb without the ice gear, go for a run with ski exposed and without fear of slipping on ice.
Or put away your snow shovel, grab your rake and unearth your lawn from the gravel and grime crust that encases it after a long winter of snow. Look for the first signs of beautiful, green blades of grass poking up from the brown, dormant earth.
I do have to say, however, there is one part of spring I detest. By far, my least favorite task is the annual spring scoop, when I have to go out in my yard and remove all the, um, deposits made by neighborhood dogs throughout the winter that have been covered by snow and are now disgusting remnants.
I have to go to my happy place during this task, not dwelling on the thought of what I’m actually doing, focusing instead on the lush green lawn that is really only a month or so away. In my mind, I am not holding a shovel and stepping gingerly through dog landmines. I am instead holding the stem of a cocktail glass and winding my way through the chairs to find the perfect spot on that sunny deck. Ahhhh, spring.
Linda Stamper Boyne of Edwards writes weekly for the Vail Daily. She can be contacted through firstname.lastname@example.org