John's column for Feb. 17, 2013
We've reached a landmark date. This is it. It's final. It's official, once and for all.
Today is I've Had All I Can Take of It Day, 2013. I've had all I can take of winter.
This is Day 59 of being held captive in our homes, unable to go outside without heavy jackets and hats, unable to feel the warm sun on our faces, unable to sit in the backyard swatting mosquitoes.
We've been snowed on, rained on, sleeted on and hailed on. We've battled icy wind, icy roads, and icy sidewalks. Even my ears have had a few icy moments. Enough is enough.
Some people say that this winter hasn't really been all that bad. That's true. But it hasn't been all that great either. It's been dark and gray. I want bright and green. How can you tell if you've had enough of winter?
You are in need of a Florida vacation if you find yourself spending an inordinate amount of time looking at seed catalogs. You have absolutely had enough of winter if you start planning the seeds in the living room carpet.
You have had enough of winter if you are turning up the heat in your house to 85 degrees and sitting in a lawn chair in front of the TV wearing shorts and a t-shirt. And if you're watching the Travel Channel on Tahiti, you're really gone. You've had enough if you've blocked the dull view you're your windows with photos of beaches.
You are definitely tired of winter if you have been sticking plastic red flowers in your garden. If you put on your long underwear and a North Pole jacket so you can go riding around in your car with the sunroof wide open, you are in need of some spring. If you have changed the home location for your cell phone weather app from Lafayette to Miami, you've had enough of winter.
If you wake up with a song in your head every morning and it's Nat King Cole singing "Those Lazy, Hazy Days of Summer" you are ready for spring. You are also probably ready to retire and move to Sarasota since that song came out in 1963.
The last time my wife and I took a warm vacation during winter we had different ideas about how to spend our time.
Wife: "What are you doing inside all the time? Come outside with me. Let's go to the beach, to the pool, let's go for a walk in the beautiful sunshine."
Me: "You go ahead. I want to stay here and watch the Weather Channel. Look at all this horrible weather back home. All our friends and family are suffering right now in snow and cold and blinding wind."
Wife: "Should we call them and see if they're okay?"
Me: "No. We should call them and tell them how beautiful the weather is here. We can really rub it in!"
Wife: "Do you come down here to enjoy the sun or to make everyone back home jealous?"
I knew the answer. But I thought maybe I shouldn't say it.
Let's face it, the only thing that can make a winter vacation in Florida better than beautiful weather down there is the miserable weather back home that we get to miss.
Last week my wife asked what I was writing about in my column.
"I'm writing about being sick and tired of cold and winter," I said.
Wife: "In six months you'll be complaining because it's too hot."
Seasons change. The fact that I like to gripe always stays the same.
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