I don't know about you, but I'm ready for the start of spring.
Yes, I know we have a little more than a month before it can officially begin as a result of our planet's orbit and position in relation to the sun.
I also realize we really haven't had all that bad of a winter this year. (Hopefully, I didn't just jinx us on that, as it is snowing while I type)
I'm just ready to feel a warm breeze as it blows through the valley. I'm ready to see some flowers bloom in the back yard.
The sights and sounds of winter are nice. Ice formations, snowflakes falling to the ground, Jack Frost nipping at your nose and all that.
By the way, walking out to your car at 4:30 a.m. and seeing three or four deer staring at you from the darkness? Yeah, not as cute and comforting as one might think, especially when you know they're becoming more brazen and openly walking right up to your house because there is some difficulty in getting food and you have some tasty-looking shrubbery planted along the driveway.
Trying to scrape the ice off my car at 4:30 a.m.? Also not a great thing.
I want to hear some birds chirping, sit outside and smell the flowers, maybe even go for a walk.
Granted, the coming of spring also means the approach of my birthday, but I'll accept being another year older if it means I can get away from these dry hands and not have to consider getting out the skin moisturizer.
I'll deal with it if I don't have to take five minutes bundling myself up for a two-minute trip out to the mailbox.
It's not so much the snow that gets to me, either.
I like snow, with the exception of shoveling. Thank goodness I've only had to do that a couple of times this year.
Snowball fights can be fun, as can sledding. I always enjoyed those winter activities. I can remember a few decent snowmen, even. I think we even have a picture of one my siblings and I?built when we were little.
I seldom have had difficulty driving in the snow. I'm careful. I don't rush around. I know to drive a little slower when the roads are bad and all that.
It's just the cold. I don't like it.
I've often thought about the idea of visiting New England. It would be nice to go up that way, with all the history and the beautiful scenery.
But they have really bad winters there, with much colder temperatures and worse weather than what we typically experience.
I could do a nice trip up through the region in the early fall for the colors, or even the later spring, but keep me away during the winter.
That definitely leaves Alaska out. I've heard too many stories about towns receiving several feet of snow and running out of shovels.
I've heard too much about the months of little sunlight.
I'm not entirely sure how people are able to live there all year. I guess they're just made of tougher stuff than I am.
I'll probably end up eventually becoming one of those folks who try to take at least part of my winter months and spend them in Florida. OK, so it will most likely end up just being a week, but it's something, right?
We're only half-way through the winter season, but I'm pretty much ready for it to be finished, no matter what the groundhog might have said on Saturday. That goofy rodent.
Bring on the sunshine.
Let me hear those birds chirping.
Let me see some color.
Bring on the warm weather.
(Howell, a resident of Colliers, is managing editor of The Weirton Daily Times, and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or followed on Twitter @CHowellWDT)