The Rites of Spring

For some people, Spring means falling in love or getting out of school or planting a garden. They are normal people. I am not.  My first “rite of spring” is to break in my flip-flops, or maybe have them break me in. The second is to get a good, thick, itchy, red sunburn.


Quite unintentionally, I passed both of these first rites today. I walked my nephew to the park in my new, cool, flip-flops. By the time I came home, my feet had a lovely smattering of fresh bloody blisters. Then, after a quick lunch of hot dogs, I put Sammy down for his nap and went to read outside. It’s not too terribly hot today – only upper 70s, I think – so I sat outside in pants and a tank top for maybe an hour. Now I can boast one of the best sunburns I’ve had in years, I think. But of course, it’s only on the right side, so it won’t even turn into a nice, even tan. Maybe I’ll go back outside and try to burn the left side – like the courageous Saint Francis, when he was burned to death on a pyle: “Turn me over, I’m done on this side!” And now he’s the patron saint of kitchens. Ha.


I’m glad it’s Spring somewhere, though – and even though the dry heat and high elevation catches you unawares (and I should know better!), it’s good to be back out West. But most of all, it’s really good to remember how it feels to be part of a family.


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When I got off the plane yesterday, there was a bat dive-bombing people in the airport. There were also coyotes howling last night outside the house. And, in addition to the typical array of cacti, there are also palm trees here, which I didn’t expect.


The last time I was in Arizona, I don’t remember liking it much – we were on one of those marathon family vacations, and when my mom made sandwiches in the car,  the bread dried out before we could eat them. I also remember my dad fishing in a big lake and not catching anything while I carved “MK + KG = LUV” in a sandstone on the shore.


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The answer is $5,000 for one minute of film.

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8 thoughts on “The Rites of Spring

  1. The sunburns usually wait until sometime around June to broil my skin, but I couldn’t get a sunburn now even if I wanted to, seeing that it’s about 60 degrees here. yes, in Texas. its insane, summer usually starts in february for us, haha
    ~The Aut~

  2. Well i beat you on the sunburn…..temperatures were up in the 70’s here in Nashville 3 weeks ago.  I had already been mountainbiking, put up the majority of my sweaters/winter clothes, and pulled out all my shorts.  Then last week I needed my warm jacket again..and it’s been in the 30-45 range this past week.  I guess I should watch the weather channel or get some kind of almanac.  They say April 1 it should be reach the 70’s again for a good bit.

  3. I didn’t realize you were in AZ.  Say hi for me.  It’s been a while since I’ve sat under an Arizona palm.  (Yea, it’s weird.)  My single worst sunburn was last summer, snorkeling in Honduras.  That’s why God led us to invent sunblock.  Oh, Lordy.  I hope your time is relaxing and refreshing.

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