Recently, two of my friends, Rebecca and Cindy, invited me to go with them on a day trip to Weston, Missouri, on Sunday, April 15, 2018. I had never been to this small town before and excitedly looked forward to the adventure. I had envisioned a beautiful, bright spring day with a warm sun and cool breezes as my friends and I strolled around the antique shops and visited the wineries of Weston.
But that’s not exactly how the day unfolded.
On the 15th of April, I awoke around 9:00 am and quickly showered and dressed. I told my family good bye and stepped outside to wait for my friends to pick me up. Oh, my gosh! What was going on?
The cold air wrapped around me and caused a shiver to shake my body as white, wet particles floated in the air in front of my face. Oh, my gosh, is that snow!? Yes, it was snowing!
But how was that possible? The seasons were supposed to change weeks ago on March 21. However, spring had been a horrible tease only showing her face on a few random occasions since the solstice. The season was playing drama games with the Midwest…and I had heard that she wasn’t being too kind to the northeast coast either. But maybe it wasn’t spring’s fault. Maybe winter was a cranky old woman who was refusing to allow spring to make her debut. I contemplated the past winter season of 2017 and 2018. The weather had been much colder than expected. The freezing Artic air drifting over the plains caused temperatures to dip below the zero degree mark many times. It had been colder than I had ever remembered. And several ice storms in the last six weeks made travel difficult.
Winter just would not end. Even Easter, on April 1, had been a cold, gray, snowy day. Now, the flakes of winter snow, like Mother Nature’s dandruff, floated around me for a moment before I quickly turned around and ran back into the house. The cold air chased after me until I finally slammed the front door shut. I stood in the living room and looked out of the large picture window as the flakes continued to dance on the air. I didn’t venture back outside until I saw Cindy’s car pull into the driveway. Then I ran out into the cold air once more, and shivered as I yanked open the car door and crawled into the backseat. We were finally on our way to Weston on this winter (but should have been spring!) day.
It was about a 45-minute drive to Weston, and I still had a hard time getting warm even though we had stopped along the way for cups of hot coffee. After Cindy parallel parked in front of the pink and white building of the Weston Winery Company, I hesitated before getting out of the car. The snow had grown heavier and wetter, and I had to admit that I was a little annoyed that we didn’t have a bright spring day to enjoy. But there was nothing we could do about it. As I took a deep breath and stepped out into the cold, Cindy was suddenly standing beside me as she said, “Well, now that we are out of the car, I can give you a proper hug.” And soon, her arms were around me and we held each other close. Rebecca and I shared a hug as well and, suddenly, I didn’t feel so cold anymore.
My friends and I walked down the street with snowflakes falling all around us as we talked and window-shopped, and I soon forgot all about the winter weather. Even with the harsh winter conditions, I was still enjoying a fun, relaxing day with good friends.
After shopping around for a while, we finally decided to stop for lunch in a small, rustic upstairs café of one of the antique stores. I sat in the wooden chair closest to the large window. As I chatted and laughed with my friends, I stared out the window and watched all of the people walking down the main street as snow fell like white glitter around them. I felt so warm and peaceful that as we left the restaurant and walked back down the street to the car, I realized that it had been a perfect day. I don’t think I have ever enjoyed a winter day so much. Yeah, I love winter.
But then, just one week after that cold day in Weston, Missouri, I was sitting with my friend, Chandra, on a black, iron bench next to Wyandotte County Lake. We sipped iced coffees and watched the ducks and geese chase each other around the muddy bank. We were enjoying a warm, 70-degree day with gentle cool breezes and bright sunshine. Chandra and I spent the afternoon talking, laughing, and enjoying a glorious spring day.
And I suddenly realized that it really doesn’t matter if it rains, snows, or thunders; it doesn’t matter if the temperature is 35 degrees or 70 degrees? The weather doesn’t matter; I felt blessed with good friends, happy days, great moments, and surprising solstices that will create amazing memories. Every season I have the privilege to enjoy is an amazing gift, and I am eternally grateful.