Sunday in the park

Snow’s quickly brushed off the park table, allowing for the season’s first picnic to begin.

The family gathered enjoys their ‘take out’ tuna while ice melts on the lake beyond.

One lone fisherman, sitting in the middle of the frozen water surrenders. He drags his toboggan through a white frosting of slush towards shore.

He empties his sled of poles, netting, beer and minnows. Placing the goods in his trunk, he puts the top down on his red VW convertible.

Once indie rock from his car radio disappears in the distance, I hear a different kind of music.

The first red winged blackbird of the season.

I sit on a sunny bench, close my eyes, and enjoy the concert.

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Well I’ll be a partying penguin…

I’ve been working all month at getting over my obsession with winter.

Especially since it’s technically spring.

I was even making progress.

Until this morning.

When one of the boys at work recognized me.

In spite of my penguin like appearance.

While waddling down the street in a black down parka with matching boots.

The soggy ones.

And in case you’re wondering?

Yes, it was snowing.

My buddy greeted me with a question.

“So, ya know we now have a state winter misery index?”

“We have a wh..aaaaat????

I was sure he was kidding.

He wasn’t.

It turns out we do have a misery index.

Put together by the same folks at the Capitol who issue the ice fishing licenses.

It seems they’ve cooked up one complicated formula that’ll keep those icy wheels in your mind spinning.

Maybe even put you in overdrive.

We’ve been gifted all kinds of misery brownie points for each below zero day this year.

And for each and every snow fall.

There have even been bonus points awarded for blizzards.

And I don’t mean DQ.

To date we’ve banked some record breaking, impressive looking report cards.

So I’m planning on partying.

After all, penguins are very social and love their seafood.

Including this bird.

The flock and I are waddling down the road for some hot shrimp gumbo.

As we wait for the ice to melt in the lake across the street.

I’m thinking we may be there a while.