A sunny outlook

May 14, 2013 

I don’t usually put too much stock in how weather affects attitudes, but I’m starting to change my mind.

When you have a stint of warm weather, it is like stomping on an ant hill. People come scurrying out of their houses into the bright sunshine for the first time in awhile. Kids play with each other.

Garden centers are teeming with aspiring gardeners lugging trays of flowers and hauling bags of manure. Sidewalk cafes are abuzz with chatter while obedient dogs are able to sit by their masters who are enjoying a latte.

But above all, people have smiles on their faces. They have something to enjoy. Maybe that’s why Scandinavian citizens and those in the Pacific Northwest are stoic and glum. Too much rain, snow or darkness makes a person depressed. Just check out the suicide rates in those regions.

I count myself fortunate to live in South Carolina. We get a taste of all four seasons, but we really get to enjoy this time of year.

Before the skies opened up on the last day, the Strawberry Festival was so pleasant to bask in the warm, but not too hot, weather. Marshall Tucker rocked, and as the sun faded, only a few light jackets were seen. Backyard barbecues and more festivals are on tap. Swimming pools will soon be opening, but if you don’t want to swim with fishes, you can take part in St. Philip Neri’s Cannoli Run in a few days.

What I love most about this time of year is that it is an awakening. Pale, ashen people finally venture out into the brightness. Dreariness turns into sunshine. It really is quite amazing how we are transformed from a gray, brown landscape to a lush green one in the matter of a week or so.

The days are longer, so the smell of fresh cut grass lingers into the week. The sounds of basketballs pounding the pavement and the thumping bass coming from cars with their windows rolled down liven up the dusk.

Saturday mornings, bicyclists and joggers are a mainstay until it gets cold again. Yard sales find many a driveway filled with one man’s junk and another man’s treasure. Even Hawaiian shirts start to get worked into the wardrobe.

There are unmistakable sounds that start now. On a quiet night, I can hear the screams of people flying down the Intimidator at Carowinds and 10 p.m. will often bring the distant popping of fireworks from Knights Stadium.

Sadly, the fireworks will only last another year, but I’ll try to enjoy it while I can. Sort of like the good weather. By August, people will complain about the oppressive heat and humidity. By November, people will complain about the shorter days and the impending gloom of winter.

Then it starts all over again. But for now, no complaints, and that’s refreshing in more ways than one.

Reach Scott at costanalysiscolumn@gmail.com to take the gun and leave the cannoli.

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