You can feel it in the air. It is just around the corner. That time of year when the winter is officially over and the summer can begin. There are a few sure signs that shorts weather is upon us to stay, and that the heavy sweaters and coats finally can be put away. I will refer to them simply as the three B’s. Botany, Baseball, and Beards.
We had an exceptionally warm day last Sunday, and I spent much of my time outside on the side of the house that gets the most sun. Just outside the front room windows, between the gas meter and the air conditioning unit we have one of our three gardens. This one is dedicated to the sun. Or should I say the sun flowers. While Maureen was at work and then a bridal shower, I cleared out all the dead stalks from last year, weeded around the few daisies that survived the winter and the rabbits, put down some new top soil that I got at the Home Depot, planted some seeds harvested from last years crop, and enclosed the area to protect it from those same damn rabbits. Gardening Season had officially begun. Followed very quickly by painful, I can’t get my butt up off the ground season.
A couple of weeks earlier, there was another change in the seasons, that overlap almost as long as Spring and Winter do here in Chicago. The hockey and basketball seasons are now coming to a close, as the city prepares for the start of the baseball season. It officially started a couple of weeks ago, first with the Cubs Home Opener, and then the White Sox a week later. As with the Spring weather, baseball always seems to get off to a rough start in the Windy City. The Sox look to have the bats ready to go, and the starting five are off to a good start. Let’s just see if the bullpen can do a little better than six blown saves in twelve games.
Of course, with the start of the baseball season, we also bring to a close one of my more favorite cold weather past times. Over the past few years, it has become somewhat of a tradition in our household that with the Sox Home Opener, we officially bring an end to the beard season. A sad occasion that my lovely new wife derives much joy. Beard season this year was actually a little shorter than in the past few years. I had agreed to be clean-shaven for our big day on November 26th, but I think Maureen caught on a bit quickly that our week in Ireland was not only our honeymoon, but also a second chance for a winter growing season. Sure there were threats of shaving me while I slept, but I think she secretly like the fuzzy guy a bit more that she is willing to admit. Besides, if I didn’t grow it over the winter, all she would have to look forward to each spring is just baseball.
So here it is everyone. The beginning of clean-shaven season. Although we are sure to be hit with one last cold snap that will chill my face right down to the dimple and cleft chin, I promise to keep it clean. For a while. Although at some point I will get tired of looking at that face and bring back the goatee. Maureen has said she does not mind that look, and that is probably the look I will keep most of the summer, or at least until the season start to change again. And if we are lucky and the Baseball Gods are good to the Sox, come October it will be time for playoff beards!
Although Maureen and I may disagree about the best look for my face, there is one look with which we both agree. No matter how the season or the hair on my face may change, never in my lifetime will it ever be Frito Bandito Season.