An Open Letter to Mother Nature:
Hey, there, um, Mother Nature. Or Mother Earth ... I'm never sure which moniker is preferable. Er, how's it going? Hope things are well - oh, duh, of course the weather is fine wherever you are, right?
So, uh, a few - well, a bunch - OK, the overwhelming majority of us here in Trumbull and Mahoning counties in Ohio we sort of had a question. Well, a request, really. OK, begging, pleading - we implore you: About spring. When might we be expecting to see that bright little season of yours, anyway?
We don't mean to complain, really we don't. I mean, and I think I speak on behalf of the entire Mahoning Valley (if not the better part of the Buckeye State) when I say we absolutely appreciate that we don't share the same weather patterns currently formed over Minneapolis or Chicago or Boston.
It's just that, and I mean no disrespect here at all, we were hoping for a little of that sunshine for which you are so famous. We're not talking Hawaii or Bahamas or even Florida aspirations, mind you. Just, you know, maybe not so much constant gray skies. They tend to invoke a sense of doom in all of us down here - and they make us really, really crabby toward each other.
I don't know if it's the unflattering way in which you were portrayed in those margarine commercials a few years back or maybe it was the horrendous depiction of your offspring as Heat Miser and Snow Miser in the 1974 children's special "The Year Without a Santa Claus" - but something has clearly angered you.
It could be the "fracking," which we honestly seem to be operating in a much more safe and controlled fashion these days. Or maybe it's the devil-may-care attitude we've had toward keeping the Mahoning River clean in the past? Could just be all the littering and pollution we humans have exhibited over time that's got you totally out of sorts. And who could blame you there?
But, and I mean this with all the vigor someone so tremendously Vitamin D-deficient can muster, we are sorry.
Truly, deeply contrite. OK? Please? Are we good?
And, look, we're even willing to make some concessions, if that's what it takes, OK? If we have to sacrifice some of the summer 80s to get a few spring 60s, so be it.
And listen, if I personally could do anything at all to fix that whole ozone gaping hole mess, I certainly would. I'm trying to do my part. Heck, I haven't even used hairspray since 1994 - that should count for something.
In closing, I'd like to acknowledge that we know we've been giving your Old Man (a.k.a. "Winter") a really rough time.
We'd like to say we're sorry about that, too, but we don't want to lie to you. He irks us.
In fact, at the risk of sounding callous or presumptive, we were kind of thinking maybe you and he should sort of split for a bit; maybe see other people? Perhaps a nice Rastafarian who could serenade you with reggae? Just something to ponder.
Totally your call but, either way, if you could please just consider our request - we'd be ever so grateful.
The Sun-Starved Residents of the Mahoning Valley.
Kimerer is a Tribune Chronicle columnist who is obviously suffering from extended-winteritis-ness. Contact her with travel tips to tropical locales at firstname.lastname@example.org.