I have to admit I am slowly losing my patience. Typically, retired school teachers have a lot of that after having endured decades of kids in the classroom, but I am really ready to move on. It’s Old Man Winter that I would like to see gather his things and leave this place for an extended vacation.

He can pack up his bitter cold evenings, his icy driveways, his school closings and his high utility bills. He can take his winter weather warnings that send everyone scampering to the grocery store for any kind of bread that’s left on the shelves. He can even take his pots of chili and replace them with grilled hamburgers heaping full of charcoal goodness.

Yes, I have lost patience with all that Old Man Winter has to offer. I am ready for spring. Lovely, lovely spring.

Even though this year has not been as bad as last, the winter season has still been relentless as the temperatures have plunged night after night. Record lows have kept kids at home for two-hour delays and challenged school districts to find a way to get all of ISTEP in and on time. It is at last March, and with March I am more than ready to see spring at my front door.

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I have always been one of those people who love the sounds of spring. I like the storms that come with the season — not severe ones that damage property, but the gentle thundershowers that bring a rumble of thunder on a dark night.

There’s something comforting about waking up to the sound of rain on the windows and thunder in the distance. That’s another thing I miss in winter … rain. Not sleet or snow, just a gentle rain that cleans the air and makes everything fresh again.

Taking a walk at the cabin or in the neighborhood is such a challenge in the winter. Putting on the heavy coat and muffler and trying to plod through several inches of fresh snow with boots that far outweigh my well-broken-in flip-flops is tiring at best. Yes, I am ready to trade in my furry winter coat for a lightweight jacket and head to the fence on the property line for a quick chat with the neighbors. (It seems we tend to disappear from November through March then reappear when spring arrives.)

It almost gets me excited to once again hear the sound of a lawn mower grinding its way through heavy spring grass or the buzz of the weed eater zapping its way around the fence line.

I am waiting, perhaps impatiently, for morel mushrooms to pop through the ground as the soil begins to warm. Breaded morels, cooked in butter in a cast iron skillet, is one of those delicacies that takes me back to my childhood when my dad would come home with bags and bags of them. My mother would fry two or three skillets at a time, and we would eat them all. I have never mastered that art as well as she did, but it is one part of spring that I simply can’t wait to see.

I know spring is out there. The weather man has even promised us better things to come. I simply can’t wait says it all.