Spring 2013, cold rainy...just like the winter was. I had have never been much of a spring person while I was growing up. When asked what my favorite season was, it was anything but spring. Spring was never a pretty month in the city. The melted snow would reveal all sorts of trash. And the odors that emanated from the sewers and the ground itself did not appeal to me, although I remember a friend telling me that it was the smell of the earth waking up.
It’s odd how I have very few memories of spring from my youth. Let’s see, there was the time a bird pooped on my new Easter bonnet just before we were leaving for church. Wasn’t that special? I cried and cried. I remember getting excited about baseball season starting, but none of the particulars. I remember my Mom’s tulips and the first Robins of spring. That was big stuff when you’re a youngster. It was not spring until Mr. Robin redbreast lighted within sight of our back door. I always knew school was coming to a close, but I do not remember being particularly sad or happy about that. That is until high school.
I guess riding my bike was exciting after winter but most of my bikes riding memories are from the long, hot, glorious summers. As I grew older there are memories of lying out on asphalt in the sun in temps that were unimaginably low to get a start on that deep dark tan we all sought. Nothing remarkable seemed to happen in the spring of my youth. And if it did, I probably don’t want to remember it, which at this time in my life is OK; I have come to terms with spotty memory. I have friends who can’t remember a thing from when they were young. I am lucky. I remember quite a bit.
As I grew older, spring became more eventful. In high school there was prom and college a lot of fun happened in the spring. But the most vivid memory I have is the night I truly met my husband.
We had originally met when he and a group of friends began buying drinks for one of my classmates from college and me at what was then the Snuggery Pub in Edison Park. Janet and I were celebrating yet another milestone in our nursing school career. I believe it was the pediatric final. We all began talking and over the next month or so we ran each other at our local watering hole Tommy’s on Higgins. When the pub closed at 2 everyone would go to this 4am bar down the street. Even when friends split up, we all knew to meet at Teasers at 2 which became a commonly used phrase for let’s all get together at teasers at 2am. Like “hey…. what are ya doin’ later? Teasers at 2?”
My most memorable spring night then occurred. I had arrived at Teasers at 2 am. Having lost track of whoever else I was with, I began searching the crowd for a familiar face. I was about to leave when through the crowd bops my future husband with a big grin on his face. And what an amazing smile it was and still is. We danced and then decided to go to Dapper’s, an all-night restaurant, (which no longer exists) for some breakfast. We talked until 8am. A few weeks later I graduated from nursing school, two years later we were married. It was May when I met the love of my life and began a journey that would continue to fulfill me to this day.
So spring has grown better over the years with memories of my children’s successes, trips Gar and I have taken but as long as I live, the snapshot I have in my mind of Gary’s smile coming through that smoke filled bar will always be my favorite memory. After almost 28 years our love just keeps growing.