Welcome To My World
The weather today is cold, rainy and raw – snowing on April 15. I was already depressed about tax day and now this. That is spring; vicissitudinous. The winds of too many springs have blown through my long underwear. I know. A few days ago it was warm and glorious. Gentle zephyrs blew and it was gloriously balmy; enchanting. I threw caution to the wind and propelled myself with reckless abandon because “Out on the lawn there arose such a clatter I sprang from my bed to see what was the matter. Away to the window I flew like a flash, tore open the shutters and threw up the sash. And what to my wandering eyes did appear,” (Clement Moore) it was spring rattling my windows, let’s all cheer. Glorious spring was kicking Old Man Winter in the “Dairy Air” with an ultimatum to get out and stay out.
The sky was as blue as Paul Newman’s eyes. A “V” of geese swept over the horizon looking like someone had used a magic marker to draw them on the sky. It also looked as if a crack was beginning. The voices of the geese echoed back to me as they rejoiced in the warmer weather and headed back north. The wedge they flew opened the sky and let spring rush through at least for that day. The songs of birds filtered through the woods. Naked trees scratched the air as they tried to attract the garment of spring.
I pushed the windows open on the west end of the house; curtains billowed out into the room flapping like Old Glory in a wondrous wind. Air rushed in and filled the house like a huge balloon. I ran like a roach in the kitchen when the lights are turned on, to the east end and opened windows and quickly stood to one side and watched the balsamic breeze blow winter out of the house.
A white haboob (dust storm) came pouring out of the east windows. It looked worse than any of those sandstorms that engulf Phoenix. The haboobs of Africa pale in comparison to that all engulfing and consuming maelstrom. Neighbors ran screaming into their houses to escape the disease-ridden foul winds of fear descending upon them. All of that dry skin masquerading as dust on furniture came roaring down the hall and out the window.
Television stations in Indy called in their weather teams. Sirens blew in surrounding towns informing citizens of a violent spring storm alert. The stations began a 24-hour program tracking the haboob and alerting citizens to possible health problems. They furiously showed radar pictures of the menacing monster already on the doorsteps of the capital city. With serious faces they warned of the germs and diseased particulate matter embedded within the malevolent cloud.
Old sad-eyed cold germs flooded by. Never used flu viruses came floating ominously past still looking for a host. Minuscule bits of lung material floated by like small leaves in the spring rain. Headaches and sinus drippings were added to the mélange of airborne particulate matter. Some of the largest boogers I have ever seen came rumbling along bouncing, lolling and denting the screens before being forced through like playdough, reeling through yards and fields seeking a nasal passage. The stench emanating from the 2013-14 IU basketball team was also forced out. All of the stale air caused by coughing, blowing noses, sneezing, burping, frying salmon patties, dirty laundry, scratching and flaking dandruff and boiling cabbage came through like a belch from a large animal. It hung in the air for a second before being launched toward Ohio. Look out Dayton, here it comes.
Recently we visited the WWII submarine the USS Clamagore in Charleston, South Carolina. It had a complement of nearly 80 enlisted and five or six officers. As we crept through the hatches between compartments it became alarming how little space each person had on the boat. A man was there at the same time who served on a sub just like this one. He had some interesting tales to tell. One was how foul and fetid the air would become when they were running submerged for extended periods of time. He said they could replace air through the periscope tube while submerged but to do the job right they had to surface. The only way the air in our house could have been staler was to have 80 men living in there with us.
Stale, soggy, foul, fetid, foggy, fuming, filthy air was replaced by fresh, crisp, juicy, garden-fresh, clean, clear, breezy, refreshing, salubrious, pleasant, unpolluted air that came directly from tropical frangipani flowers. That is the best spring cleaning ever. It seemed like this year that annual rite of cleansing was the most wondrous in many years because of the horrendous winter we had. I slept like two logs that night.
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