If you've been following the blog for a while, then you probably know about our resident robin that drops in every spring. I've mentioned this bird on a couple of occasions in the past couple of years. Although I love birds, this robin can be a nuisance. He sets up a nest right near my bedroom window and sings his early morning robin song, sometimes as early as 1:00 in the morning!
Throughout the summer months the robin does battle with his reflection in our windows. "BAM!!! BAM!!! BAM!!!" Within a couple of days our windows are dirtied with fragments of beak, blood and bird saliva (if they have that).
And how can I forget the many occasions when he perches himself on the roof near our family room window and watches us through the window as we eat dinner? He's sure to present the vicious robin face while doing this.
This morning I was eating breakfast and glanced out the family room window from the kitchen. "(((gasp!)))" Is that the robin? Is he back?"
No, it was only a ghostly visitor from the future--a premonition that the robin is soon to return. I informed my wife of my vision and reassured that the robin is on his way. For a split second I saw his phantom perched up on the roof of our house and watching me eat.
Oh, but this should be interpreted as good news! It means that spring is just around the corner, and hopefully an end to the polar vortex that Chicago land has been enjoying this winter. Spring is on the way; I can feel it! Today we have temperatures in the low forties. It will briefly drop down to the thirties on Saturday, but then back up to the forties on Sunday.
In anticipation of warmer weather and spring, perhaps we should dust off the old short story, The Giant Snowman's First Day of Spring.
Have a great weekend! And be sure not celebrate too much during your snowman's funeral!
The Giant Snowman's First Day of Spring
Born on one of the mightiest blizzards of winter, the gigantic, round base took nearly all the snow in the neighborhood as kids had planned on creating a monster snowman that towered almost the height of a home. During its construction, the kids realized that lifting the middle ball was much, too heavy. The solution was to start the middle as a small ball, place it on the gigantic base and then sculpt packs of snow around it. Finally, a large ladder was propped against the solid base and middle so the giant head could be constructed in a similar way. Charcoal for eyes, a carrot nose, and some broken up pieces charcoal for a mouth; the snowman slowed traffic in the neighborhood as onlookers paused to take pictures. The beast was awe-inspiring as it overshadowed the front lawn and glared back at the traffic and pedestrians.
It was on a Thursday and Friday when the weather had warmed as kids and parents alike anticipated a weekend of spring's sample. Only late February, an unseasonably warm weekend should be enjoyed when had. By Saturday morning, the sun shined brightly in the sky while green grass had appeared as all the snow had melted -- that is, except, for the monster snowman.
He watched as puddles of melted snow flowed from front lawns, into the street gutters and down the sewer. Rolling streams connected throughout people's back yards, the parks and vacant fields. The only thing missing was the Robin’s call and its famous hop through the grass in search of worms.
Shiny cars zoomed down the streets as winter's salt had been rinsed away at the local car wash. Those who sought a jump-start on spring and summer fitness dressed in windbreakers, headphones, and jogged the sidewalks, sometimes taking notice of the monster snowman who continued to tower. Silly kids dressed in shorts and t-shirts -- a little too eager for spring to arrive as it was only 47 degrees today. The whole world rejoiced at this marvelous thing called spring as the giant snowman experienced what he felt was nothing more than an apocalypse.
Although maintaining his solid, base center and proud face; little-by-little the snow began to melt and joined the small puddles which ran down the gutters and into the sewer. The blasted sun declared its cruel sentence from the sky -- death by melting of all those things born in winter. By afternoon, people had received the change of weather so well, that they would look upon the giant snowman in hatred as he was the final reminder of winter. Children threw rocks and branches as he began to melt forward, leaning towards the slope of the hill, giving the appearance of sadness and despair. By late-afternoon, the weather had cooled; but the damage was done. The giant snowman was sagged and disheveled as gravity pulled him along the slope of the hill, and melted snow continued to trickle down the grass and into the street.
An old lady had walked her poodle along the sidewalk where the miniature dog stopped and entered the grass to do personal business. It was all chance -- tragic chance -- at least that's how residents understood. The giant snowman's neck had weakened enough that it rolled from the middle and towards the ground where it crushed the poodle. The weight of the rolling head at its moment of detachment must have placed just enough strain so that the center had rolled from the base and further squashed the poodle -- leaving the old lady stand in horror.
But the damage wasn't over! The giant snow ball increased velocity as it rolled down the hill, past the sidewalk and into the street. Who would ever expect such a thing to appear so aggressively in the road? A motorist had swerved to avoid the snowball's attack and smashed into the transformer box located across the street. There was a burst of light, an explosion of fuel, and a neighborhood that experienced a sudden loss of electricity.
And that's how the giant snowman had his revenge!