Walking by them next to the church parking lot last Sunday morning, I actually yelled in caution, “What are you doing here?”
I realized how crass I must have sounded and calmly added, “I can’t explain how much joy your presence brings me, but I am concerned for your well-being.”
The 67-degree temperatures the day before had brought out the life-displaying, green, emerging tips of crocus and daffodil leaves. The jade green leaves were like florescent beacons of light surrounded by the brown death of winter. But we all know it’s an early mean trick.
Over the preceding two days, the brightest star used its bone-warming radiance to melt the leftover piles of dirty white snow. On Saturday, I think I saw everybody in Johnson County getting a much-needed dose of natural vitamin D.
Motorcycles were out in abundance. Runners had tossed their Under Armour and put on shorts. Bicyclists were out training for the Little 500. Children were laughing and playing in the parks while wearing short-sleeved T-shirts.
I checked our hives and, yes, even the bees were buzzing. The ’Band (short for husband) and I pruned back a few shrubs, cleaned up the yard and grilled out.
Of course, as you well know, Sunday returned with a cold, rainy vengeance.
You know it’s a terrible, miserable, nasty, bone-chilling day when everyone who is running through the rain into the grocery store has the same grimace on their face and once inside shivers, “What a nasty day.”
I overheard one chipper woman say, “Well, that was quite unpleasant.”
Like everyone else in Johnson County I, once again, repacked my bathing suits, shorts and flip-flops that I had excitedly retrieved Saturday and again pulled out the turtleneck sweaters, insulated long pants and all-weather boots.
The weather’s mean trick still was a welcome respite from winter and a little glimpse of the hope of spring to come.
And in case you were wondering, it officially will be spring March 20.
Fifty-nine days, 15 hours, two minutes and thirty seconds to go.
Janet Hommel Mangas, the third of seven children, grew up on the east side of Greenwood. The Center Grove area resident and her husband are the parents of three daughters.