Let’s count our blessings and soak up some sun

Published 6:00 am Saturday, June 18, 2005

By Staff
I found myself uttering some terrible words during the last week or so.
No, they weren't curse words, but I should be ashamed of myself for even thinking them, nonetheless.
I heard lots of other people -those I work with, those I'd meet in passing while shopping - uttering the same, shameful words.
What were we saying?
We were complaining about the heat.
Shame on me. Shame on us.
How soon we forget.
Remember January in Michigan? Remember February? Heck, remember March and April?
How is it we could bring ourselves now to say such awful things about this marvelous springtime?
We're some difficult-to-please individuals, we Michiganders.
I recall last summer, when friends with swimming pools were able to use them only a few days because it never got hot enough to properly warm the pool water. This year, we've been swimming since mid-May.
Give us glorious, sunny, downright hot days, which we longed for openly just a few months ago, and what do we do? We bad-mouth it.
Forecasters say we're in store for a long, hot summer. I hope that's the case. I need to enjoy it for as long as I can. The older I get, the more difficult winters seem to be for me.
I remember my first Michigan winters more than 16 years ago. Having lived my early life in the Deep South, watching those first few flakes of snow fall from the sky was a magical experience for me. I remember running into the office gleefully exclaiming, "It's snowing!" You can imagine how that went over with my many Michigan winter-experienced co-workers.
It could be spitting snow, and I'd be outside taking pictures and sending them to Mississippi.
My mother tells me it was snowing in Mississippi on the day she brought me home from the hospital. Mississippi snow - especially in southern Mississippi - is a very rare occurrence. She says the snowfall that day must have been a sign that I would live my adult life far away from where I was born. (She's never forgiven me really for moving up here.)
My snowfall enthusiasm didn't last long. By about year five, I was as jaded as most Niles natives about the winter. Now, I may be winter's biggest opponent. I spend long, winter evenings now surfing the internet for information on retirement destinations in very warm climates and fantasize about the day when I can spend winters someplace where you can watch people in shorts out golfing in early January. If only I live long enough to retire…
Truly, we need to count our blessings. It's really only bad here for about eight weeks. And look at the gorgeous spring, summer and fall we get to enjoy as a reward.
Let's soak up the sun while we can because we know time stands still for no one. Just stock up on sunscreen!