Suddenly Summer

Dearest Rachel –

It’s a commonly-held truism here in the Chicago area (and, now that I think about it, throughout the Midwest – so you’d be just as familiar with it as I) that “if you don’t like the weather around here, just wait five minutes.” It’s an exaggeration to make a humorous point, of course, but the point is still taken. It was, after all, just last Friday that we were shivering outside of a restaurant while we were trying to eat dinner; on Sunday, while I had eschewed my jacket for the first time in months, I was still dressed in layers. As of yesterday, by contrast, I was wearing a little more than a T-shirt and jeans; and it looks like the rest of the week has us well in the eighties and sunny – a far cry from last week’s rainy forties.

In any event, you’re aware that the transient nature of the weather around here is a long-standing joke; however, it can still prove a shock as to just how fast those changes can be. Whether cold or hot, the unpleasant temperatures always feel like they’re going to stick around forever, and it’s every bit as surprising when it changes from one to the other. Of course, the fact that it does tend to change from one to the other without much of a transition in between doesn’t help. Whatever happened to spring (and I’m sure I’ll be saying the same thing about fall in another five or six months)?

Anyway, between the pleasant nature of the day – and the fact that I hadn’t done so thus far this entire year, which probably did me no favors when I visited the doctor a couple weeks ago – I decide to head out and walk to the ‘office,’ once the construction team arrived at the house.

The irony is, I’ve gone out so rarely that they initially think I have some new instructions for them. Nothing could be further from the truth. Eventually they figure it out, I bid them good day and good luck, and head out.

I’m sure that I’m breaking all the rules of exercise, since I start in straightaway without stretching. On the other hand, walking around is referred to as “stretching one’s legs.” So, if that’s how you stretch though, why do you need to stretch them beforehand?

Of course, I’m barely a block away from the house when I feel the first twinge just above my kneecap. Nothing serious, I can walk right through it, but it does point out just how out of practice I am. Last year at this time, I’m pretty sure I was already doing this for the better part of a month. Then again, last year, I was required to go outside at least twice a day (and a time or two at night), thanks to Chompers. How things have changed, indeed.

To be sure, it wasn’t as if ‘walking’ him at that point amounted to much in the way of exercise save for my patience. I know I wasn’t the best step-father to him, but I hope he knows I did my best, for whatever that was worth.

The flora and fauna are out in full force this far into the season. I barely miss being hit my face by a falling cherry blossom, while the birds are making the kind of noise you’d expect to be hearing from the protesters in DC, at least decibel-wise:

“Birdie, birdie, birdie! C’mere, c’mere, c’mere!” which, we both know, means exactly the opposite in Cardinal as in English.

The clouds are thin enough that you can see the sun through them, and still get away with calling it a sunny day, but they’re thick enough – and vast enough – that its rays don’t beat down all that hard on me as I walk. It may not be what you would call a ‘perfect’ morning, but it’s pretty darn close. Of course, you would know what a perfect morning looks like these days – it must be like this, or something like it, all the time. Wish you could describe it to me.

But for now, I’m going to have to settle for this. Granted, it’ll probably be that much hotter by three this afternoon, but that’s how it goes.

Talk to you later, honey. Keep an eye out for me.

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I am Rachel's husband. Was. I'm still trying to deal with it. I probably always will be.

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