Enough. I’ve had enough. There’ve been worse winters, but not in recent memory. There’ve been far greater accumulations of snow-in 1979, for instance, and 1967-but none with the relentless frequency we’ve seen this winter.

It snowed again last Friday, on Feb. 29, as if nature needed an extra day this year to adequately inflict upon us the full measure of winter’s misery. Yesterday, snow was expected yet again-for the 36th time this season.

I’ve had enough. Of snow and ice and slush. Of sidewalks flooded with frigid water. Of gray skies and slow slogs with uncertain footing across slick and treacherously uneven surfaces. Of parking spaces rendered illegal due to plowing operations. Of garage aprons that have been cleared, and cleared again, and then again, only to be covered up yet again. Many municipalities have all but run out of road salt. Mail service is being delayed in Oak Park due to the number of postal carriers injured after slipping and falling.

Whatever joy there was to experience of winter is gone, replaced by grousing and frustrated profanities. The virgin white blanket I see across our backyard as I gaze out my study window no longer holds any charm. The flocked branches of the fir tree outside the window have lost their beauty.

All has become endurance in the face of what feels like an onslaught, like Chinese water torture by snow flake. Long gone is the enjoyable sense of splendid isolation I felt as I stood in pre-dawn light after I’d cleared some 250 feet of sidewalk, watching the sky grow pinkish gray as my labored breath formed vaporous clouds. Whatever satisfaction such efforts brought in December has been replaced by the dull, chill dread of slush fatigue.

I’m weary of the tight, hunched posture and the driven gait of winter, head down in determined bursts as I try to get from one place to another without landing on my back and in the emergency room.

White Christmas? I’m dreaming of a Green Memorial Day, of a Slow and Hazy 4th of July. Of the pleasure of relaxed and easy movement. Of shorts and T-shirts, puttering in the garden, chatting over the fence while barbecuing. Drifting over to the neighbor’s deck for languid evenings amid soft breezes, where the only salt is on the lip of a Margarita glass, the only slush, the only chill, inside said glass.

I know. Spring and summer aren’t without their challenges. There’s much work to be done around our home, the rest of the garage to be sided in cedar, a fence to be finished, hours of gardening. But it’s all work that can be scheduled as we see fit, not tasks that suddenly confront us one summer morning after another, requiring us to throw on sweats and old jackets and create a path to and from the garage just so we can get to work.

Perhaps there’ll come a time when I’ll feel the same about heat and humidity and sunlight as I now feel about ice and snow and gray skies. When I grow weary of feeling hot and sticky, tire of the three-shower days and mosquitos and relentless sun, perhaps.

But if you catch me moaning about the heat in July or August, feel free to whack me with a snow shovel or a bag of rock salt. I’ll thank you for the reminder.

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