Traverse City Record-Eagle

April 27, 2013

Mardi Link: Wishing, wanting and waiting

Special to the Record-Eagle

---- — ‘Good Gravy! When will this &^%$#@ winter be over?”

My husband, bless his heart, came to northern Michigan by way of Arizona, where year after year, April pretty much does what she’s told. That means moving the mercury way up into the 80s in the daytime, and then dropping it back down into the 60s at night. Not to mention baking the red ground with a lovely dry heat, every single golden day, and just skipping that whole messy precipitation thing all together.

Even though he hasn’t lived there for more than two decades, every year our Michigan spring still brings his fond “April in Arizona” memories flooding back with a vengeance. Apparently, there is no better conduit for summoning this type of reminiscence than sleet, hail, rain, freezing rain, snow, more rain and a sky of dark clouds filled with even more rain, day after day after &^%$#@ day.

When everything looks so gray, it’s tempting to wish away the present in favor of the future. It’s natural to want to move past the dark and cold today, and on to a warm and sunny tomorrow. It’s natural to wish time away.

We all do it, whether we’re from Arizona or Michigan or somewhere in between. My son, who just wants to get in a few outdoor soccer practices before his first game — “Is that so much to ask!” — does it. My friend, Linda, who just wants to go outside and work in her magnificent Hosta garden — “Yipeee! It’s snowing again! Said no one, ever, at the end of April.” — does it. And lord help me, I do it, too. Because I’d really like to take our new puppy for a walk in something other than mud.

So yup, we’re all human. That means we all sometimes wish our time away. Not so hard to do when there’s been snow on the ground for the last seven &^%$#@ months.

But just remember, time is pretty much all we have. It rarely does what it’s told. So when you wish time away, you wish your life away.

Right now there is an old pickle jar on my kitchen counter. It is our “Spring Break 2014” fund. The jar has a jagged slit cut in its metal top and it’s half filled with coins and dollar bills. Someone taped a message to the side of the glass that says, “Arizona or Bust!!”

I’m optimistic. Because a year should be just about the right amount of time to save up.

Mardi Link is a Traverse City writer. Her memoir about motherhood, “Bootstrapper,” will be published in June. Send comments and questions care of the Record-Eagle or via email at