Here in Minneapolis, Minnesota we just experienced a winter thaw and heat wave with five record-setting high temperatures over the past week all the way up to 62ºF!
Climate change is real, as you can see in the graph, and I can’t remember an absolute thaw of all snow and ice in midwinter like this one. While I’m happy that I’m not out shoveling snow, some friends are not so happy they haven’t enjoyed much cross-country skiing this season.
Another guilty pleasure is realizing that the heating expenses for my property will go down. I happened to leave the thermostat setting off recently while away on a short overnight stay. When I came back the next morning, the temperature was a comfortable 64ºF in my apartment, and my tenant’s apartment on the second floor is typically a bit warmer, so probably stayed at room temperature up there. IN THE MIDDLE OF FEBRUARY!
Before I acquired and fixed up my Longfellow Villa property, I was in a little apartment for six months, and there were some problems there. One week I had almost no heat in near-zero weather, and the apartment management wasn’t doing much to fix it. When it went into the 50ºs for a few days, I’d turn on the oven and run a hot shower with the bathroom door open. That was crazy, and barely liveable. Now I have a nice forced-air HVAC system with an older furnace, new central air, and humidifiers in both apartments, and we’re always comfortable.
It hit 62ºF on Tuesday, and I took a long walk around the neighborhood. It was again sunny and warm on Wednesday with 59ºF, so I had to get my bicycle out of storage, pump up the tires, adjust a few things, and I took my first bike ride of the season. I don’t winter bike, since that triggers a little asthma, but I’ve been exercising on bike and elliptical machines at the Y, and ready to go.
What a feeling! Cranking through the city with pedal power is my favorite mode of transportation. I do drive my old truck around, but since I work out of my home office, the morning commute is from bed to coffeepot to computer in my pajamas. Getting out of the house by Noon for a walk or ride is an important part of my daily schedule, but in the winter, I get stuck in the house all day sometimes.
Not this year. There’s a giant snowstorm with blizzard conditions blowing across the Midwestern states today, and we had an early forecast of 6-12 inches of snow for Minneapolis. But, it’s stayed south as it didn’t have enough climate Umph to head North, where snowstorms normally like to play havoc. As I look out my window, it’s a dull gray cool day, but not a flake of snow, nor drop of rain, nor any sleet in between.
This is not normal. Officially, Spring begins on March 20, but…
It Might As Well Be Spring!
“It Might as Well Be Spring” is a song from the 1945 film State Fair, with music by Richard Rodgers and lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II, it won the Academy Award for Best Original Song that year and was the only original film score by Rodgers and Hammerstein. The 1945 musical film was an adaptation of a 1933 version that was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Picture. The 1962 remake of State Fair starred Pamela Tiffin as Margy Frake who sings “It Might as Well Be Spring.” But her costar Ann-Margret sang a captivating version of “It Might As Well Be Spring” for her 1961 screen test for State Fair, backed by a simple lounge quartet.
I’d say that I had spring fever,
But I know it isn’t spring.
I’m starry-eyed and vaguely discontented…
I am indeed vaguely discontented and starry-eyed too! Now that’s a different story that I won’t tell just yet. Sometimes the stars in my eyes are just hallucinations of what could be but may not ever come to pass. Still, my discontent drives positive change. So, if you are experiencing any spring fever, don’t despair. Climate change and personal change are real, as the planet evolves, while people mature and pivot.
I haven’t seen a crocus or a rosebud
Or a robin on the wing.
But I feel so gay…
That it might as well be spring