I drove home in a whiteout. I wasn't completely sure in which lane of the unlit, country road my car crept. But deep ditches yawned on either side, and since my world was only swirly and not topsy-turvy, I knew I must be in one lane or the other. Probably a bit of both.
The calendar, of course, proclaims this to be spring. Flower buds and sunshine, pastels and bunnies, tra-las and la-las.
My gloved hands gripped the steering wheel as I squinted into fat, white puffs of snow pelting the windshield.
It sure didn't look like spring. Well, I was pretty sure it wouldn't if I could see. It made me nostalgic for that first pollen-powered sneeze of spring.
I remember when staying at Grandma's house as a kid being fascinated by the opening segment of one of her shows: The screen pictured a funny-looking jar crimped in the middle, with a pile of dirt at the top squeezing through the narrow center and cascading in pile at the bottom.
A deep voice intoned: "Like sands through the hourglass, so are the days of our lives."
I inched along at a speed that posed no threat to turtles on skis. Except the turtles had enough sense to stay home. In my head, a voice crooned, "Like flakes around the snow globe, so are the days of our spring."
I finally made it home. The next morning, only about 3 inches of new snow coated the ground. Barely enough to build both a snow fort and the snowballs to stock it.
That's how you know it's spring. More than that piles up during a northeast Ohio winter.
When various documents, applications and other such nuisances require that divulge my state of residence, I usually write that I'm from Ohio. Weatherwise, it probably would be more accurate to scribble ''the state of Confusion.''
A couple weeks ago - you know, when the calendar claimed it was winter - we had a day when the thermometer clipped 69 degrees.
Two days later, snow littered the ground. I can't remember if the thunderstorm was before or after.
Spring's blooming but snow's in the forecast the next four days.
It has nothing to do with Jadis, the White Witch from the Chronicles of Narnia. It's simply the variety that teases and taunts us all the time. Here in Confusion, uh, Ohio, our state motto is, "If you don't like the weather, wait a minute. It'll change.''
It's the spring of my winter discontent. Perhaps I'm just suffering from seasonal affective disorder. It could be that I've grown weary of thick socks and sweatshirts. Or maybe I just want to play baseball.
At this point, I'm agreeing with Carl Reiner, who said, ''A lot of people like snow. I find it to be an unnecessary freezing of water.''
Ah well, soon enough, I'll be mopping my brow with a towel and griping about the blistering heat of July.
So as that great philosopher Anonymous once noted, ''When it snows, you have two choices: shovel or make snow angels.''
And after we're done, it'll be time for a snack. As Anonymous also said, ''It's never too cold for ice cream.''
Besides, a great big cone with sun-shiny sprinkles will help us think spring.
---- Cole just can't stand to use snow shovels. Write him at firstname.lastname@example.org or on the Burton W. Cole page on Facebook.