Some sense of normalcy has returned to the world of Bone over the past week. Well, normal for me anyway. Things have been good. Dad is doing well. We talk more often now. And when I went to visit him last week for the first time since he got out of the hospital, he sent me home with a guitar, amp, tuner, and chord charts. This oughta be fun, as soon as I figure out how to work the amp. Two knobs, two holes, a switch, and a light--how hard can it be?
In other good news, I won my NCAA tournament pool, which is the first time I can ever remember that happening. Go Jayhawks! I'm pretty sure that is the first time I've ever made that statement as well.
I also think I may have become addicted to golf. I played three times last week. My "balls lost" count was zero, one, and I-don't-want-to-talk-about-it. Someone remarked it was better that I be addicted to golf than crack. I suppose that's true, though I can't imagine crack being much more expensive.
The warm bogey-filled days of yester-week have given way to arctic-like temperatures this week. Lows were in the 30's last night and expected to be there again the next two nights. At first, I figured this was most likely the onset of the next ice age. Then I realized if that were the case, we would have seen massive glacier progression by now. How stupid of me.
I began to wonder if this is what the old folks call Blackberry Winter. I wasn't sure, so I called the oldest person I know. I said, "Dad, is this Blackberry Winter?" He said, "I don't know if it's blackberry winter or dogwood winter. Whatever it is, it's cold."
Moments like this are why it's so very important to talk to our elders, learn from their experiences, and listen to their stories. Now I will be able to someday pass that wisdom along to my son or daughter, or nursing home attendant.
Through further research, I have determined that this is more likely Dogwood Winter. Both Dogwood Winter and Blackberry Winter are names given to a period of cold, contrary weather, usually lasting a couple of days and following a lengthy warm spell. Dogwood Winter was so named as it coincides with the blooming of the dogwood trees in mid-April. And likewise, Blackberry Winter is a cold snap occurring when the blackberry bushes are in bloom in mid-May.
I don't know how widespread these terms are, but it would be interesting to know how many of you are familiar with one or both of these terms. I've heard the phrase Blackberry Winter all my life. Coincidentally, or not so, I had some blackberry cobbler for dessert last night. I'm not sure what all of this means, but in the wise words of he who reared me, "Whatever it is, it's cold."
So what have we learned? For one thing, there is no Wikipedia entry for "blackberry winter." You have no idea the kind of existential conflict this creates within my brain. Also, adages that have been around a hundred years have been around a hundred years for a reason.
To summarize the rest, I have prepared a helpful chart:
Blackberry = nutritious fruit; also a wireless handheld device
Cobbler = delicious dessert
Blackberry cobbler = good
Blackberry winter = cold
Cold blackberry cobbler = bad
Winter cobbler = undefined, but I'm intrigued
I guess the bottom line is to not put away your long sleeves quite yet. Dogwood Winter is here. And apparently, Blackberry Winter is still to come. Personally, I prefer the gorgeous weather of last week, which I do hereby officially name Bradford Pear Summer.
"Love and seasons never stay. Bitter winds are sure to follow. Now there's no doubt it's gonna be cold out tonight. I've shivered all day..."