The Great Race: Spring vs. Winter 2022

posted in: Paean, Word Nerd 12


Horses in flowers. I was hoping to find a picture of horses in flowers and I totally found one without spending nine hours on WikiCommons. Amazing. Image: Wikipedia



Gosh, it sure is good to see and read y’all.

I’m doing alright, I promise. That’s especially true this morning because being here again feels like I’ve just come into our favorite coffee shop after a long time away and the klatch — the klatch is you — is like, “Well, bless my soul! The ol’ PG!” I plunk myself down in a captain’s chair at our wide, round table. I take that chair not because I want to be captain; everyone’s in a captain’s chair because it’s just the style of this place. Everyone’s excited to hear what I’ve been up to for Lord’s sake, but I just want to hear about your lives and what you’ve been doing while I’ve been out sailing the high seas. Think of me as a wisened fisherman of few words, all yellow slicker and bucket hat, silently dripping several tablespoons of rainwater onto the floor which I wipe up right away with the napkin that came under my croissant. I might be a wisened fisherman of few words but I have manners. You are all relieved that I do not smell of shellfish or whales. It’s way too early for that. Marianne (friend Marianne, not mom Marianne), being immediately to my right, does detect a slight whiff of algae for the first 30 minutes or so, but she doesn’t say anything because she knows the smell of coffee cake baking in the cafe kitchen will soon overtake it. Plus, I’ve been through a lot.

Before long, everyone talking about the big race.

Spring and Winter are neck and neck. One day, it’s Winter’s race to lose. Freezing slush swirls all around us and everyone spits epithets and yanks their damned stocking caps down around their ears and the ears of their children to protect them from the slush and the epithets. But we’re talking about the race because this race is best race of the year. Spring comes from behind. She pulls ahead by a nose! No one thought it could happen, but suddenly it’s 65 degrees and sunny and it stays that way long enough to get some green buds going in the trees along the street! This is wild! She could actually do this.

Woah, woah, woah, says Marj. Old Man Winter’s no quitter, she says, and eats a piece of my croissant. (She asked.) His age gives him experience and let’s not forget: He’s been working out for months. At that moment, Winter executes a full body slam: actual snow accumulation. The dumb jerk snarls and growls at Spring. He calls her a whippersnapper and blows her down with subzero winds from the north. Winter has always had his fans, but at this point most of the crowd is turning on him on account of him being so mean. Spring gets up, but she’s nervous. It doesn’t look good for her, doesn’t good at all. She’s so young. She’s green! Nothin’ but a colt, really, and going up against that metaphor. We hate to do it, but a few of start to pull on our salt-stained boots and get on home before the snow plows block the damn road. It’s too depressing.

But wait … you guys, you guys.

Spring’s still in this. She just kicked Old Man Winter in the — wow, she’s kicking him but good! Where did that come from?? Spring pulls forward, shaking chartreuse pollen from her mane. It gets in Old Man Winter’s eyes and he starts crying like a little — well, he’s crying, really crying! No one wants to be callous but we’re all secretly praying he’ll start sneezing like crazy and he does, which gives Spring an opening. To our shock, she goes for it, launching one of the riskiest moves in the book, The Triple Easter Bunny. No, we cry out! Spring, it’s too soon! You could die out there! Don’t be a hero! We’ll hold the line! Just a few more weeks — are you crazy?! You’re not ready!

The world stops spinning on its axis. We all hold our breath. She hops once. She hops twice. She hops a third time and … she sticks the landing.

The girl did it. She really did.

We all start whooping and hollering and throwing flower petals in the air. What a race, we cry, and Jim takes a piece of my croissant.

12 Responses

  1. Pamela Barnes
    | Reply

    Welcome home Mary. You have been missed. Your joy, your excitement, and your tallent.

  2. Joe Scott
    | Reply

    Thank you, we had 2 inches of snow yesterday. I loved reading “The Great Race”, it very good.

  3. Lori
    | Reply

    Hi Mary
    SO glad we’re able to be together again in this lovely coffee shop!!! I just HAD to hug you, despite your dripping wet yellow slicker.
    Just let me grab a cinnamon bun and we can get back to staring out of the window. We don’t need to talk–just being together is enough.
    Just one more hug…
    Lori xx

  4. Terri Turner
    | Reply

    Missed you and your prose. Welcome back Mary.

  5. Tracy Besmer
    | Reply

    Thank you, that was great. Would you like a bite of my muffin?

  6. Caroline Nelson
    | Reply

    May I say how much I’ve missed you and prose!

  7. Brenda King
    | Reply

    Hi Mary!
    I’ve wondered where you’d gone! You’re a hard woman to keep track of! Hope all’s well in your world! I’m so glad to have found you again! I enjoyed your latest creation! You still have it girl! Welcome back! I’ve missed you!

  8. MJ
    | Reply

    Jim ( Marjim )
    Hi Mary! Hey, if you ever find yourself in NJ , be sure to look us up as both Marj and I owe you a couple of Croissants! There’s a good French bakery in the next town, so we can deliver. Ohhh , how nice it is to hear from you again. First thing every morning I check the Ole’ PG and it was so nice to see ya back the other day. Of course, we know you’re far too busy to post every day, but don’t worry, when you do, we’ll read ‘em all! We hope all is well with you and your family and Marj and I will be looking forward to your next PG post.
    PS. Big Red is still much admired and very well cared for.

  9. N
    | Reply

    So glad you’re back! I admire your writing and your humor. Worried about you a bit when you went quiet.

  10. Carole Lakomec
    | Reply

    Thank you so much. Loved it. Where I live mother nature gave us a big surprise. She sent a very bad snow storm to central NY. 98,000 people are without power. I got power today but most won’t get it until Friday. That was some goodbye to winter. Saturday will be 70 degrees.

  11. Judy Kay
    | Reply

    WELCOME BACK…. I hope you are back for a longer time now, you have been missed and your post in my in box was a great welcome and surprise.

  12. Jim Blais
    | Reply

    PPS. Here in NJ, it seems like Winter is back in the lead again!

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