Old Man Winter decided to make an appearance today. He didn't come in quietly, or even gradually, but instead he flung the door wide open and ushered in an icy cold wind that could knock you off your feet.
Now I know it's January, and I get that the weather shouldn't be balmy, but I've managed to live in a bit of denial since October because we've had such unseasonably warm weather these past few months. As our cold loving daughter lamented the lack of a chill in the air, I was dancing a jig at the fact that it was in the 60s over the holidays.
If you've been hanging out here for any length of time, then you are well aware that I'm a warm weather sort of person. I love everything hot, well except maybe soup, but other than that I love warm weather sports, t-shirts, flip flops, the beach, and anything even remotely tropical.
Even as a kid, my mother would get frustrated on snow days when, after spending some time bundling me all up to go brave the cold, I would promptly return 20 minutes later in search of a cup of cocoa and a few marshmallows. I think I only went outside so that I could get that cup of steaming hot chocolate. You know, it doesn't seem right to drink it just for the sake of drinking it, you have to be freezing cold so that it can bring some sense of feeling back into your hands when you hug that warm mug.
There are only two wintertime activities that I actually enjoy, one is ice skating, and the other is sledding. But since we rarely get enough snow to sled, and it hasn't been cold enough for the ponds or creeks to freeze solidly enough to skate on in years here, well then I kind of quietly pass the time until those first buds warm my heart and remind me that winter is done.
I'm not a grump during winter, and I do enjoy seeing the swans return to our creek each winter, but I mostly enjoy this season from the comforts of a well heated environment. So Old Man Winter, if you are so inclined, why not give yourself a little rest this year and move on down the road. In case you needed some sort of permission, I'm giving it to you right here and now, to let spring come a wee bit early this year.
And to those of you who love winter, I get it, I don't begrudge you this season. Nope, I say enjoy every blustery day and sub zero temp you can find. But just as you hate high heat and humidity, I don't take a cotton to your beloved cold and grey skies, so let's just agree to disagree, shall we? :-)
When I think of grey days (yes I prefer the "e" spelling of grey), I think of this particular song. And on a completely different topic, I promised Lili that I would one day tell my Dave story, so here goes.
I am a big Dave Matthews fan, not like a crazy stalker kind of person, but I love his music. It makes me want to dance, sing, and it just makes me smile. Mr. Tide on the other hand, not so much. As a sax and trumpet player himself, he can tolerate the bits where Dave's band gets down with their horn section, but other than that, let's just say that I listen to Dave mostly in the car when I'm driving alone.
About 10 or 11 years ago, Dave was going to be in our neck of the woods, or at least within 2 1/2 hours, so Mr. Tide surprised me with tickets. I was thrilled, I had always wanted to see Dave in concert, so this was way cool for me.
On the day of the concert we took the kids over to my parent's house to spend the day and have a sleepover, and we jumped in our almost brand spankin new Jetta, opened the sunroof, and headed on our way. What should have been a 2 1/2 hour drive ended up being more like a 4 1/2 hour drive, and to this day we aren't sure if there was an accident or what, but it was a LONG drive.
We pulled in to the parking lot of the venue, which was a big open air concert place and we sat there for about 45 minutes waiting until the gates opened. As we sat there I noticed something, everyone around us was far from like us. They were all young 20 somethings, most likely college students, and many of them had been partying for a few hours by this point. On the other end of the spectrum were a handful of older folks, as in much older, who clearly had lost their way when the Grateful Dead quit touring, and I guess Dave was a good substitute....I can see that. But the former Dead followers were about .00005% of the general concert populace by all of my calculations.
The gates finally opened, and we wandered up to the entrance, and the closer I got the more I thought that one of two things was about to happen. I was either going to have the concert experience of my dreams, or I was going to be vomited on by a very drunk 20 something...odds were heavily favoring the latter since it was open seating in a field.
I looked at Mr. Tide and said, "would you mind if we just sold the tickets and headed home?" Now bear in mind, that this wonderful husband of mine, who just drove over 4 hours to a concert you couldn't have gotten him to go to but for love or money, in this case love, looked at me like I had lost my mind.
As with any sold out concert, and Dave sells out months in advance, there were numerous folks standing at the entrance, hands held high with the number of tickets they so desperately needed. We approached a young couple and asked if they wanted to buy ours. They told us how they had seen Dave the night before in Pennsylvania and how they were so "stoked" to hopefully see him again that night. I explained that although I loved Dave, I felt a wee bit old and out of place, which was followed by a lot of things like, "nah man, you're not old, you should go in man, he is so awesome in concert...like seriously!"
Their words of reassurance only cemented the conclusion I had already come to on my own. When we explained that we just wanted what we had paid for the tickets, they almost jumped up and down and asked if we were sure. I explained that with two children at home I wasn't really game to use our one phone call to let our family know that we were now in a Virginia jail for scalping tickets. They gave us cash for the tickets, and gleefully ran into the venue. Had I been 20 years younger I could have been them!
So back in the car we went, taking a different way home, where we dined at Mikey D's and had ice cream at one of our favorite places in Virginia. Driving down those back roads, with the sunroof open, and Dave blaring on the car stereo seemed almost better than being with him live. So maybe Dave and winter aren't that dissimilar for me, I enjoy them from the comfort of my own home.
I have told Mr. Tide, that if Dave ever comes to a much smaller, more civilized venue, appropriate for old folks like me, that I would love to go. So what do you think the chances of that ever happening really are?! The odds, I'm betting slim to none. ;-)