Tonawanda News

April 7, 2014

Enough of this winter -- it's time for spring


The Tonawanda News

Tonawanda News — Midway through separating the bits of dog food from the shredded paper towel pieces on the saturated bed sheet that had been strewn across the dining-room table, I finally realized I’d had enough.

I can remember being a restless child yearning for some activity during the cold winter months, so I’m more than willing to cut Penny and Rigby a break in terms of how they play when they can’t go outside. They’re probably a bit too young to be as into hockey as I was toward my teen years, and there’s only so much sledding or snowman-building you can do without being left with a wet, numb butt.

So they get a tad more freedom on cold days ... so many cold days. We’ve had so many days where it was too cold to play outside even if you wanted to frolic in the snow. Dining room table tents just won’t get the job done after a while. There’s just been SO MUCH cold and SO MUCH lousy weather. Why won’t it end?!

I could take it up until now. I’ve introduced the kids to the Nintendo Entertainment System during the past few months and discovered a few kids’ movies that were actually pretty good during our movie nights on the couch. And we’ve gone through a good number of the books we got for the kids when they were born but they were too little to enjoy prior to this year. So there’s been some good that’s come of this winter.

But now, elbow-deep in soggy dog food (it smells as bad as it sounds), I’m ready for spring.

And not just ready for spring. I am at the point where I will do the Dance of Joy once the flooding subsides and I can finally have the privilege of scooping the five months’ worth of poop accumulated from two dogs in the back yard.

I long for the days of muddy footprints being tracked through the house as dogs and humans alike contend with a soppy yard and rain-soaked early spring months.

I count the minutes until conditions outside will allow me to begin the monotonous can returns, clothes donations and other spring cleaning chores.

To be able to simply open the back door and let Penny and Rigby run into the yard and wear themselves out seems like a fantasy, at this point, about on the level of winning the lottery. I realize that most winters are pretty much like this in actuality, but something about this season has just made the unbearable weather seem especially interminable.

That could be because the kids are much taller this winter. And their taking up more space leaves less space for the rest of us. Who end up therefore taking a lot more elbows in uncomfortable places when the kids roughhouse.

It might be due to the fact that they’re getting into older kids’ shows now And as bad as “Barney” was, “Fred” and “The Thundermans” are hardly a picnic, either.

Or it could result from Rigby, even though he has about two-thirds of his “Lego Batman” game left to play through, insists on playing the same level when you play with him every single day. Three or four times a day. I mean, how many times do you need to defeat The Riddler?!

Anyway, hopefully we’re taking steps toward our outdoors freedom by the time you read this.

Penny and Rigby will benefit (aside from the health benefits of exercise) by playing tee-ball, soccer and whatever else they conjure up. And Mommy and I can get some satisfaction from no longer having to stare at the same four walls we’ve looked at, seen get drawn on and scrubbed clean on a near-daily basis.

Plus we can finally open the windows again. Because that odor of wet dog food doesn’t dissipate easily.

•••

As bad as we might feel we have it in terms of cabin fever, I can’t even imagine how much worse it was for people who actually lived in cabins.

What in the world did families do during our nation’s pioneer days? They didn’t have central heating systems, they lacked adequate clothing to endure playing outside for long periods of time and they couldn’t turn the lights on without risking setting themselves on fire from the kerosene in the lamp.

They didn’t even have Chuck E. Cheese or McDonald’s playhouses to occasionally lets the kids run around loose in. Or even a radio, yet alone a TV set.

Now those, those must have really been tough times.

Contact Paul Lane at pjlnews@ymail.com. Also be sure to follow Daddy’s Crib Notes on Facebook.