I felt especially bad for Mr. Partee. He stood in the back yard with his face tilted toward the sun, cup of coffee cradled in his hands, eyes shut in absolute bliss as his face drank in the warm sunshine.
“Great morning, isn’t it?” I called out. He smiled without turning. “I believe I can finally put the snow boots away,” he said. We were both in t-shirts and pajama bottoms. My neighbors have gotten used to seeing me that way. My yard backs to a strip of open space that has no fence as do the other yards. It’s not allowed a fence because of some odd HOA rule, so when I am outside, I am outside for all to see–those who are walking their dogs or jogging by, and Mr. Partee, who doesn’t seem to care because he wears a similar uniform– plaid pajama bottoms and a t-shirt. While Mr. Partee reveled in the sunshine, I went about my backyard business of exercising the “super duper pooper scooper” whose immense jaws save me from bending down with plastic bags in hand to pick up the dog poo.
My husband and I had just returned from a vacation where we worked on our tans while Colorado got hit with one of the snowiest April’s ever. We came home to 72 degrees on a Saturday and all of our neighbors raking mulch, planting pots and like Mr. Partee, lifting their faces in worship of the sun.
As hubby and I ran our errands and came and went, we noticed that Mr. Partee had set up camp in his back yard. He had taken all of the patio furniture off of the deck and hosed it down. His wife and children were wiping down the chairs and rearranging them on the deck in anticipation of spring’s warmth. The day wore on and the sun lingered into the evening light of 7:00pm, and still Mr. Partee sat on his deck, talking on his phone, feet propped up on chair and a Corona now in hand.
Sunday was even better, warmer, lighter, tulips opening and welcoming and I couldn’t wait to go to work on Monday in a cotton skirt, sandals on my feet. Oh this is going to be a wonderful spring. And then it happened. As I said at the beginning of the story, I felt especially bad for Mr. Partee. It is the Rocky Mountains, but who would have imagined, or dreamed of a foot a wet snow on May 1st? The snow did not stop to take a breath all day while it blanketed the town with its low, grey skies and stinging white flakes, that although beautiful, buzz killed the mulching, the deck cleaning and the tulip blooming that had happened two days earlier.
Today the skies have turned blue again. In spite of nature making a mockery of our spring dance, there is a hopeful excitement that the warm weather is coming. And though there is too much snow for either Mr. Partee or I to stand in our back yards in our pajamas and tilt our faces toward the sun, I am guessing that he was putting his snow boots in the very back of the closet this morning believing this time, it’s for real.