So, you remember that scene in the movie?
You know, when the hurricane or tornado or alien attack or zooming asteroid or nuclear shower or exploding locusts ends and everybody walks outside at the same time to soak in the sunshine and revel in the beauty and awe of a new day ahead? You know the one, right?
That uplifting music starts playing, a dog barks in the background and people wipe the crud out of their eyes as they escape the coccoon they have hidden in while the steroid-popping action star and his nerdy or busty companion saves the day. If you missed that movie, just start up another one that contains “action” in the description and you’ll see what I mean.
I don’t bring this up simply to poke fun at the lack of creativity in movies these days (or, really, any days since the second movie ever released came out). No, I tell you this because I was hit with a serious blast of deja vu last Sunday.
After a winter of arctic blasts, weekly snow storms and exploding locusts, our entire community appeared to appear on Sunday. As I was loading the family into the car for church that morning, I realized that there were other people outside doing things.
There were couples walking together, holding hands. A jogger ran by who was not dressed for “Survivor: Siberia.” I heard a dog bark in the distance and, for once, I was fairly certain it wasn’t one of mine. I strained to listen closely, hoping I’d hear a positive song playing in the background, and, failing at that, I squinted hard into the sky, wondering if I’d see credits rolling across the clouds.
I saw other cars driving down the road as we made our way to church, and I could see entire windshields — not just a hole on the driver’s side to see through. Some people had their windows open and sunglasses were spotted on drivers’ faces as they wizzed by me. And I saw smiles. Lots of smiles.
A little later in the morning we made our way to Bethany to partake in the guilty pleasure that is Five Guys. This is a fairly-regular tradition for the family, as my belly proudly displays, and the past few months have consisted of pulling up right in front of the restaurant, making sure my hat and gloves are attached properly, and making a (very slow) sprint into the restaurant to grab our food.
But Bethany was pretty crowded. I smiled at a lady sitting on a bench and another woman passed me with her toddler, both of them chatting away with looks of joy on their faces.
I don’t dare presume we are completely past the ravages of Winter 2014-15, but it certainly appeared on Sunday like we were making a move in the right direction.
It’s funny how this year’s winter hit us when you think about it. I remember talking with people in December who were commenting on how mild the winter was, especially coming off a very comfortable summer for the area. Nobody really wanted to come out and say that we were going to completely avoid a rough winter, but they were hopeful.
No, it wasn’t as bitter cold this year as it was the year before. Nor did we get hit with major blizzards like a few years ago. But this winter, once it got going, was relentless. One snow storm a week, seemingly confined to Tuesdays or Thursdays, and consistent below-freezing temperatures. It wasn’t enough to make our resident Eskimo, Shaun Lambert, trade out the sandals for boots, but it was consistently cold and icky outside.
You see, I’m a wordsmith. I can use “icky” in its proper context. Some people just use it to describe something slimy or...
But I digress.
We’re moving toward spring, if this week’s weather is any real indication, and that’s good news to me. The road construction that has been altering everyone’s lives on Route 26 will be winding down soon, the air feels a bit warmer and the sun is hanging on a little later in the day. Add in the fact that St. Patrick’s Day, and my annual day-after-St.-Patrick’s-Day flu bug, are rolling in next week, and I am officially moving toward my happy place.
A place where people walk outside and music fills the air.