Springtime in January

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Today the temperatures were seriously above normal for this time of year. It was more like a day in March than a day in January. Now, as you may know, I’m not the biggest fan of winter so you might think a day like this would make me happy. OK, it did but I do have some mixed emotions when the temperature gets this wacky this time of year.

Someone once remarked during a warm spell like this that it just meant we were in for a colder than normal period because the average temperature over the year doesn’t change that much. There seems to be a certain logic to this. I mean temperatures may be going up but we generally aren’t likely to have a year that is 10 degrees over the average so it stands to reason we’ll get a colder than normal spell sooner or later.

And it seems like when we get the cold snap, it is in spring when I want the temperatures to start warming up. I know that I don’t have any science to back this up but it just makes me a little wary of warm spells this early in January figuring that Mother Nature has a nasty little surprise coming sometime later in the year.

One other reason is that winter survival is a mental grind. You start anticipating an early spring and it just makes it that much harder to take when the inevitable spring cold snap happens. See we are still a good three weeks away from what is statistically the coldest time of the year. (Granted we are talking about a couple of degrees but it is still true) When winter isn’t even half over, it is far too early to start dreaming of spring. And that’s what these warm days can do if they go on for too long. Or you start thinking “well this winter won’t be so bad” and then you get slammed with Arctic air and heavy snow.

Of course, I’m not going to turn down an opportunity to enjoy spring in January when I’m not working. The sun was also shining which just made things that much happier so we decided to take Rocco the Wonder Dog to the park after we had run our morning errands.

I’ve mentioned this before but since I do get new readers and I wiped a lot of my old posts, I’ll bring it up again. This park sits on land that used to be an Army base. Several years ago, they shut down the base and turned part of the land into a State Park. Now, it is kind of strange to have a State Park in the middle of a big city and there isn’t a lot of natural wonder but it is a nice multi use park with picnic areas and plenty of trails for walking and biking.

But, being as it is a State Park, there is only the one entrance and there is a fee to get in. Well, there are weekdays in the winter when nobody is manning the entrance and you can get in for free. That wasn’t the case on a nice sunny, March-like January day. There was something going on at the park which drew some people. And we have flipped the calendar so everyone who made a resolution to exercise more or lose weight was also taking advantage of the day. So we waited 20-30 minutes before we got in which was unusual. Had the car windows open so Rocco could run back and forth in the back seat just to see if there was anything to see. He kind of hates it when the car isn’t moving because the scenery doesn’t change.

I could have shaved off some wait time if I had purchased my annual pass last year but I just didn’t think about it. We take the dogs there often enough that we more than get our money’s worth out of the pass.

The trail was loaded with people and other dogs. We’ll see what happens to the crowds when the cold eventually comes. That’s when you find out who was really serious about any sort of resolution. I suppose there could have just been a lot of people enjoying the weather who didn’t make any resolutions. We don’t get a lot of chances to enjoy the outdoors this time of year so it was something you had to take advantage of.

We even went for ice cream after dinner. This is where temperature is all relative because ice cream is usually something you associate with summer. But when you are way above normal, it felt like ice cream weather even though the temps were hardly summer like.

All in all, it was a good day. Tomorrow is not supposed to be as warm and we should see a return to true January temperatures by midweek. In the long run, that’s better because spring is still a long way away. This was just a nice sneak peek.

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