What a lovely time of year this is, beautiful spring and even summer-like weather today, plunging back into freezing temperatures the next. The daffodils that bloomed with such color now cower and bend in the cold, blustering wind. Oh yes, the blustering, blasting, whipping wind!
They call March “kite flying month” and what wondrous childhood memories it tosses about. Flying your first kite. Getting your mother to put it back together because you botched it on your first try. Experiencing your first rope burn as the swirling wind rips the kite from your hands. Watching a tree eat your first kite, or even better, watching a powerful downdraft send your flying wonder plummeting to the ground. The only thing missing is a burst of flames as the kite becomes so many fragments of sticks and fabric before your very eyes.
But not to worry, since we have become adults we are so much the wiser about such things. Now we wait for an early spring weekend at the beach, where little shops sell more varieties of kites than there are episodes of “Law and Order” on TV. We then embark out to the beach for such fun as we’ve never had. With a new kite only slightly smaller than a hang-glider and a cable control system to rival that of most deep-sea fishing rigs, we put the wind under our wings and watch with marvel as the kite soars to heights only before imagined. Before we realize that we might be interfering with the local parasailing craft, our cord reel reaches its end. Oh that we now had our video camera, as we run wildly up and down the beach, stepping on occupied beach chairs, overturning loaded beer coolers and kicking holes in almost finished sand castles. Then a blast of mighty Atlantic wind decides it is time to rejoin the Gulf Stream current and its only then you realize you’re now hip deep in the surf. This one of those quick mental decisions, let go my white knuckled grip and attempt to reel this monster in, or hold on and become shark chum in another hundred yards or so. Then against all your better judgment and your now higher credit card balance, you let go the reel and watch with amazement as the kite takes out a pelican on the way down, or did the pelican mistake it for a mate? The world may never know.
But we needn’t head to the beach to have such experiences. So many are available to us right here at home. Try riding your bike in this kind of weather. It lends a whole new meaning to directional control. As I turned from Foxbrook Dr onto Julep Dr yesterday I encountered a headwind so strong I honestly didn’t know if I should downshift to a lower gear that I didn’t have, or maybe tack to starboard, since tacking leeward would have landed me in the ditch.
Another interesting aspect of the March winds is mystery movement within your home. My wife loves to open the windows and let the fresh air in. I have no objections to this if the air didn’t come in pressurized form. Coming out of the bedroom and finding flower arrangements on the floor would usually be blamed on the cat, but not when they are now in another room. Plus when said item fell of its shelf, if the cat had been the culprit, he would have bolted silently away. But since this dull thud is accompanied by a sharp vocal outburst by aforementioned feline, we must assume that he too was taken by surprise. We aren’t talking you garden variety “meow” here, we’re talking that “you just stepped on my bloody tail you giant human oaf!”
Of course the unexpected slamming of an open door by said windy conditions can be quite startling as well. I was in the bathroom shaving the other day when a silent but deadly wind gust slammed the bedroom door with enough force to scare the wee-willy-winky out of me. I count myself fortunate that I was rinsing my razor at that moment. Had I positioned the razor under my nose I’m quite sure I would now have half a mustache.
Even the poor birds can’t catch an even break under these conditions. I know this because instead of the bird poop being in round splotches on my car, it is now strewn across the roof and down the decklid onto the spoiler like so many bullet holes. I just hope they weren’t flying in formation or some poor feathered friend on the right wing took an eyeful.
I suppose I shouldn’t complain since the next thing on the list is April showers. Talk about raining on your parade.
T. August Green