The cherry blossoms have finally come to Long Island, whether spring has or not … and the daffodils are blooming! It’s a big weekend here at Casa Judy.
“Let’s go out and see the flowers,” my husband suggests.
“Okay,” I agree. “Just give me a minute.” It takes more than a minute but I’m finally ready.
“What are you wearing, Judy? We’re just walking around the block, and you look like the Abominable Snowman!”
“What’s the problem?” It’s only logical. I’m wearing my “Spring Has Sprung” T-shirt, but it’s just above freezing outside, so I’m also wearing a long-sleeved shirt. And a sweatshirt, because I hate to be cold. Plus it’s raining, so I’ve got on a raincoat and boots, and I’m looking for my umbrella.
“And do you really need those?”
“What, my sunglasses? That’s in case the sun ever comes back,” I explain, patiently.
“How’s it ever going to find you, under that hat?”
“You just deal with your own situation, my dear. You’re sure to catch cold in those shorts,” I snap. “And flip-flops? Honestly, anyone would think you were at the beach. In Dubai!”
“I just believe in a positive attitude,” he says calmly. But I notice he doesn’t mind sharing the umbrella with me as we walk around the block.
Suddenly he starts laughing. “I just figured out what you look like: that guy on the news!”
“You’ll have to narrow it down a bit more than that,” I say primly.
“You know — the one who wore everything he owned to the airport, rather than pay for his luggage.”
I know the one he means. It was some British man, flying home from Iceland, who put on 10 shirts and eight pairs of pants rather than pay an excess baggage fee of about $125.
“That guy is my hero,” my husband continues. “I’d do that too, if you let me.”
“What, and walk around the airport like a scuba diver, with all your sleeping gear on?”
“To save $125? You betcha.”
“Plus I know how you hate to sweat. Look at you right now, in a T shirt and flip flops in the teeth of a north wind! Besides, I don’t even know how you’d fit in your seat if you wore all your things.”
“Maybe that’s why they wouldn’t let him on the plane,” my husband says. “He wouldn’t fit down the aisle.”
Suddenly I can’t help laughing. “You know how I always overpack? If I had to wear it all, maybe I’d get better at packing light!”
“It’s more likely the flight time would come and go, and you’d still be trying things on.”
Halfway around the block, the wind picks up and blows the first fallen petals around us. I jump reflexively.
“What’s the matter?” asks my husband. “It’s like you’ve seen a ghost.”
“Sort of. For a second there, I thought those were snowflakes!” It’s not so outlandish; just two weeks ago the Yankees season opener was snowed out. “First it’s hot, then it’s cold, then it’s sunny, then it’s freezing,” I said. “And all in the same day! Last week, one of the boys asked me what should he pack for a visit home — warm or cold weather clothing? I answered ‘Yes.’ ”
“I know,” says my husband. “He called me next — said he’d be worried about you, except the weather’s crazy where he’s living, too, so he understood. He sends you a kiss, by the way.”
He bends to kiss me, finding my cheek eventually under the floppy hat.
“Good thing our boy is driving here, and not flying,” continues my mate, “or he might have been tempted to wear everything, too. The British aren’t the only ones who hate paying for baggage.”
Despite all my layers, the wind somehow gets through, and I am shivering by the time we are back at our own front porch. “Mid-April and it’s still winter,” I complain. I almost trip over a leaf rake that’s leaning against the wall, along with two snow shovels, some firewood, and a bag of potting soil.
“Judy, I don’t mean to criticize —
“— of course you do —“
“ — but couldn’t you put at least some of this in the garage?”
But, as another blast of winter wind rattles the bag of grass seed against the bag of driveway ice-melt, the answer is sadly obvious. These days, one must have A Porch For All Seasons.