Learning through Laughter

Bob Owen, Humorist

My gosh, have you looked out your window?  The birds are flittering and singing and chasing each other all around the yard.  Rabbits are hopping about.  Outside cats are catterwalling all hours of the night, which I deem a bit tacky. 

Our inside cats are harmless, as far as adding to nature is concerned.  But, they’re still spry and frisky.  They know they’re supposed to feel something; they just don’t have a clue what.  So they do the next best thing.  They run through the house at four times warp speed then crash into the French doors leading to the screened porch where they sit on the couch and pretend to threaten the birds, who, incidentally, laugh at them.   In the middle of the night – say about 3:30 a.m. – they run into our bedroom and leap purposefully onto the bed, landing in the middle of my chest before they’re off, waiting until I’m almost asleep to do it again. 

Spring has arrived!  Bringing with it rituals of all sorts.  Every living thing – almost every living thing – is involved in the flirtatious, invigorating activities of spring. 

I remember those days.  I remember when I was very young walking home from school with Margaret and thinking she was really really nice, but not having a clue why.  I remember on Spring break in college seeing all the girls at the beach and thinking they were really really wonderful, and knowing why.

Spring is a magic time for excitement, energy and an overall feeling of well being.  It’s when you get an added “spring” in your step, as it were. 

But, I’m telling you what, friends.  The rituals have changed.  The added “spring in my step” now means that I can walk normally after getting up in the morning – without having to shuffle and build up to speed.

All this frivolity makes me smile, knowing that I’d have to increase my blood pressure medicine if I thought about it long.  A friend of mine said the other morning that he woke up and listened to the birds singing outside his window and felt so happy and healthy that he almost went into his wife’s bedroom to give her a kiss on the cheek.  “Why didn’t you,” I asked.  “Wake her up?!?!?!? Are you crazy?  The reason we have separate bedrooms is that she can’t sleep.”  Ah, the sweet mysteries of a tried and true marriage.

After this, I decided to ask friends about their spring rituals.  I would never have done it 30 years ago.  I would have most certainly been told to mind my own business.  However, I stopped asking after the first friend.  “Do you and your wife have a special Spring ritual to bring back the romance?”  “Does setting the clock forward an hour count,” he asked.

When you’re in the Fall of your life, fast approaching Winter, the “spring in your step” may be as simple as not finding a friend’s name in the obit column.  Or not having to get up in the middle of the night.  Or not having your doctor shake her head and tell you to lose weight.

Don’t get me wrong!  I’m not feeling sorry for myself.  The thought of all that springiness and frivolity and energy makes me so tired I want to take a nap.  That’s a good thing.

Date of Blog Story: 
March 27, 2009

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