I’m sick – literally, painfully sick – of wintertime | AspenTimes.com

I’m sick – literally, painfully sick – of wintertime

Gaylord Guenin

That recent stretch of pleasant weather in early March did what it always does – sent me scurrying to my seed catalogs. I even went so far as to pull out a book I have called “Projects for the Birder’s Garden,” knowing full well that Lenado, which is up where I live, is two or three months away from getting rid of our snow.I have more than 2 feet of snow sitting in my front yard, but even that could not quell my mad desire for spring. With due apologies to the skiers and boarders and everyone in the valley who depends on tourists for a living, winter finally overwhelmed me. I am sick of it and sicker still when I realize that April and May can be rather nasty months as well.So I pull out those seed catalogs and begin dreaming. This is a rather dangerous move on my part, one I am fully aware of. If the winter blues become critical, I am often overcome with the desire to order all sorts of goodies from my mass of gardening catalogs. That urge to purchase stuff is irrational and it usually strikes in the late evening after consuming a few too many martinis. It is as if the very act of purchasing seeds and gardening tools will somehow accelerate the arrival of spring.The only thing it truly accelerates is that black hole in your checking account. And the martinis tend to encourage you to make rather lousy decisions regarding your purchases. I’m a real sucker for gadgets, stuff marketed to make you believe it will make some task easier when in fact it only complicates an otherwise simple project.My storage room is filled with an endless collection of gizmos designed to do everything from eliminating moles to scaring deer out of the garden. Almost all of that stuff has ended up gathering dust while the moles and deer go merrily about their business. But this winter I may have been shocked into the realization that you cannot “buy” spring. This past fall I failed to put my lawnmower under the back porch, which is on the north side of my cabin. I happened to look out a back window the other day and there was my mower, buried in the snow with perhaps only 4 inches of its handle still showing. I could order a thousand dollars worth of seeds and the snow covering my mower won’t be influenced one way or the other. It will leave when it damn well wants to leave and I can’t do anything about it. In truth, flipping through those seed catalogs probably only increases my frustration with winter.However, I know I am not alone. That mild weather brought out a few cyclists and golfers, all intent, it would seem, on giving spring a gentle kick in the butt.I am well aware that we do need more snow to combat Colorado’s lingering drought and the threat of another serious fire season, but lordy, lordy how good it feels to go outside without a heavy jacket and feel the sun actually warming your face. I suspect my increased desire for an early spring also has to do with my health. In a valley filled with an abundance of the ugliest of viruses, I normally make it through the winter without much discomfort. And when some bug does strike, on average I am down for no more than a day or two. Not this winter! Some truly vile little virus entered my system the week that Hunter left us and I finally began feeling better about 10 days later.It began as if it were only a cold, which quickly became a bad cold and then gleefully mutated into a minor crisis that demanded Imodium A-D and lots of gentle fluids to quiet my aggravated stomach, which was pretty much refusing anything I offered it.Am I whining? You bet I am! I suspect that because the flu never seems to hit me very hard, when I do get hit I immediately turn into a hopeless wimp. And on this occasion it is very likely that people could hear me moaning in Cleveland. And as I discovered, most of my friends had already suffered through this crud, so instead of offering much in the way of sympathy, they insisted on giving me unwanted details of their own miserable encounter with this flu. It was as if we were engaged in some strange form of the Illness Olympics, a competition to see who could out-sick the others. “Man, I have never had diarrhea that bad,” says competitor No. 1. No. 2 responds with, “Oh yeah! I was flowing from both ends.” And then No. 3 jumps in with, “I had the same problems, but try running to the bathroom with an extreme migraine.” I was obviously out of my league and actually began to feel a bit better upon hearing all those other horror stories.OK, I’m putting the seed catalogs aside. I’m resigned to the fact that we will see more snow – I just don’t want to see anymore Imodium A-D!This is the 314th article in a two-part series devoted to the community of Woody Creek, a place where the residents know they can’t buy spring but they can book a week in a warmer clime.


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