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Phelan: Winter weather overstaying its welcome

Published: Thursday, March 28, 2013 5:30 a.m. CDT • Updated: Thursday, April 4, 2013 4:28 p.m. CDT

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I’ve lived in northern Illinois my entire life, so I’m used to freezing winters. As a kid, I would make snowmen and igloos until I was nearly hypothermic, and now I get to do even more fun things, such as scrape ice off my car every morning. I wouldn’t say that I love winter, but I get it. I tolerate it, and I can live through the cold each year with the thoughts of warm spring sunshine to maintain my sanity.

This year seems to be moving too slowly, though, and warm sunshine doesn’t seem to be coming anytime soon. I want spring, and I want it now.

I’m not just craving warmer weather because I’m sick of wearing four layers to venture outside. I need spring because I am a spring person. Winter is too cold; summer is too hot; and fall is marred by things such as going back to school. Spring is a beautiful in-between time when flowers grow, birds chirp and rainbows appear after rain showers.

Sunday is Easter, and I will be very upset if my family’s egg hunt has to take place inside or in someone’s frosted backyard. I’m usually the one at my family’s Easter party that hides the eggs, and I’m afraid that I won’t have anywhere good to hide them. Last year, I put all the bright yellow plastic eggs in bushes with yellow flowers to camouflage them. This year, I guess I’ll have to hide chocolates and jelly beans in eggs the color of dirty snow or clumps of dead grass.

Each spring, I head out with my trowel, gardening shears and weed-puller and spend hours making sure the plants in my backyard aren’t choked by rocks or other flowers to help them blossom. This year it hasn’t been warm enough for me to spend enough time outside, and the poor plants are hardly poking their heads above the soil. My green thumb is how I snap myself out of my winter frame of mind – seeing new growth reminds me that the world isn’t such a dark and gloomy place.

The reason I’m so upset about winter overstaying its welcome isn’t just because I don’t like the cold. It’s because I need to see and feel life getting sunnier to motivate myself to finish out the school year strong and get ready for everything I need to do in the summer. This year, I have a ton to do. I can’t help but feel unprepared for finishing high school, and without nature’s reminder of new beginnings, I’m scared. Graduation and college are coming at me so quickly, and yet the world seems to be stuck in a rut more cold and tedious than high school itself.

I know that I need to get a move on with things such as picking my classes for next year, but I can’t seem to move on while nature is acting immovable and stubborn, too. I need spring to hurry itself up because spring is the universe’s most simple reminder that life moves on, and I need to start moving on, too.

• Courtney Phelan is a senior at Geneva High School. She is an outgoing and energetic young writer who likes to swim, read and participate in general teenage activities. She can be contacted at editorial@kcchronicle.com.

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