The weather turns warm, birds chirp as insects reappear from winter dormancy. Everywhere plants grow new green leaves as spring actually arrives.
For those privileged among us who don't suffer from seasonal allergies I say to you: don't gloat too loudly as you age its possible for you to get them too.
My lovely wife used to scoff at me as I suffered. To those who don't understand, imagine having dust made up of blasting sand superheated and driven up your nasal passages. Intelligent thought quickly disappears as you start sneezing in endless cycles. She stopped scoffing when she started to get allergies about 10 years ago.
Sure you can still take long walks and enjoy the outside but only with the near certain knowledge that by leaving your air conditioned sanctuary the sneezing will soon begin.
There are few highpoints to spring these days. Seasonal chores begin anew; time to mow the lawn and weed the yard. Probably I shall finally put away the Christmas lights still draped across the bushes in the front yard.
The local roads, once quiet and peaceful except for the occasional 18-wheeler blasting through at 75 mph, are filling up again with spandexius-byclisius. These colorful individuals are largely oblivious to motorized traffic and apparently share a devout belief that the local roads are actually part of some secret federal cycling park system.
I'm all in favor of seeing bike paths built on road sides but I'm tired of cresting my local roads and finding some spandexius peddling along in the center of the highway doing five miles an hour.
Please pass a law that bars such activity on roads posted 35 mph or higher! You can fine the offenders and use the money to build bike paths. Either that or make non-county residents buy a permit to bike here; I doubt that most of these cyclists really live here anyway; the wide eyed disbelief when they spot a cow or gun rack in a pick-up truck is a dead giveaway.
Of course, it isn't all bad. Maybe this year the Orioles will learn that it takes five starting pitchers to be competitive (but probably not). Now there are the Nationals as well, so at least there should be something on television now and again. For me it's the long countdown to the best time of the year, football season.
The NFL draft is over now. It's a prime example of how a business turned a routine accounting procedure into a money making event. Fans studied the lists of potential players and sat before their televisions booing or cheering as names were called. I'm one of those fans, now looking forward to training camp and then - lastly - pre-season games.
For high school football players, the season never really ended. They have been hitting the weight rooms and many of them have played in other sports as well. Basketball after all was invented as a game to keep football players in shape.
August is just three months away and will come again as it always does after a summer filled with hot humid days when even the most winter-phobic among us will long for those cold frozen nights of January.
Meanwhile, I will sneeze, perhaps trying some new devils brew elixir claiming to cure allergies. None of them work, well, not really. Mostly they leave you bereft of your ability to think, staring at walls and trying to remember what you needed to do next. So don't start singing spring's praises to me or be prepared for a scowl and vociferous "Bah-Humbug."
I will be thinking of cooler days in fall when footballs fly in cobalt blue skies to the cheers of onlookers. Fall is the best time of year but it seems to require that we can only really appreciate it after spring and summer have exacted their tolls. Until then I will sneeze, mow and wait until the days turn frosty and summers heat has passed.
Fall and football will eventually return.