Ever since Groundhog's Day, I've been on the alert for signs of springs imminent arrival. The Sunday morning after our party had the distinct feeling of springtime. There were birds chirping, snow was melting and it was warm for the first time in weeks.
Last night, after picking up the girls I took them to Dollar General to spend the $5 they each got in bribes so that my Mom could trim their bangs. Lucy picked her items out quickly, as usual. She found some rubber ducks and playdough. Riley, on the other hand, acts as if she'll never be given an opportunity to pick out a toy ever again. We wandered around that store over and over again. She finally settled on a plush piggy bank that oinks when you put money into it.
"I think that was a very wise choice, Riley," I told her, thinking that next time she could drop her $5 in the bank instead and save us all the heartache of choosing between a $3 piece of crap and $5 worth of garbage.
We finally paid the lady behind the counter and hit the road. There's about a mile stretch of highway between Dollar General and our house. We pulled on to the on ramp and started our zoom home. About halfway down the road, I could smell the distinct odor of skunk. It's not unpleasant at first, but dead skunk on the road always has a crescendo of unpleasantness.
"You smell that?" I asked at the first hint of it.
"It smells like hamburgers," Riley said.
"Nope, that's skunk."
"Huh...it smells like hamburgers to me...oh, wait...EEEEW!"
"Yeah, it stinks," I said, "But it means spring is coming."
I was about to launch into a lecture about how dead skunks on the road means that they are out and about and not hiding from the cold. It's a good sign. But the girls started singing, and I decided to let this lesson pass. But I got home and saw the green grass on my front lawn. I smelled the warmth in the air. I took a peek at the thawed out Tiki bar across the back yard. Summer's coming, ya'll. Summer's coming.