Just a few days ago, my parents and I drove out to the lake for lunch. It’s a tradition, this time of year. We go to the same restaurant we’ve always gone to. It’s right on the water, with a banquet room where my husband and I had our wedding reception thirty years ago and a big lawn where Red-haired Sister and Tie-dye Brother-in-law said their vows more than twenty years ago. The sun stayed hidden behind clouds, but the air was so warm that I left my mittens in the car. We took our usual booth by the window.
“It’s been a long winter,” my mother said as the waitress came over with menus.
The lawn that stretched down to the lake was covered in snow and ice, but enough had melted so that we could see whole bare patches of grass and earth. The lake was frozen still, but shallow pools of water shimmered on the ice, and all was quiet. The snowmobilers have put away their machines: their season is over.
It’s almost time to take the snow tires off my car. Spring is on the way.