Saturday, just about all day Saturday, I made my way from Toronto to Portland, then up into the hills to Tina’s house. (Sock Summit World Headquarters.) Tina and I are spending a few days together to work on the Summit and look at the convention centre, and do all sorts of bits and bobs. When I got to Portland, I was shocked. Shocked, I tell you. First of all, I stepped off of the plane outside and I did not have a coat on, and, get this. I WAS FINE.
Seriously. No coat. In February, and I didn’t feel at all imperilled – and there’s more! There were GREEN THINGS.
IN FEBRUARY, OUTSIDE. I can’t stress enough how in my part of the world, the only green you’re seeing in February is whatever mould might grow on cheese in the fridge, and frankly, we’re so glad to see a living organism that we just about call people into the kitchen to admire it. Now, if you’re in Eastern Canada right now, I need for you to brace yourself for this next one.
THAT’S A FLOWER. A FLOWER IN FEBRUARY. A FLOWER GROWING IN THE GROUND IN FEBRUARY.
Its not fake either, and I know because I went up and touched it and looked at it. It’s a real flower. They were everywhere in Portland, which means that their presence isn’t just an isolated incident of lunacy planted by some psychotic optimist. Indeed, there was other evidence that the optimism is not just the triumph of the human spirit, but is actually warranted by nature. Witness.
That’s a rose bush. It’s awake, and it IS GROWING LEAVES.
The whole time we were in Portland, I just kept stopping and taking pictures and screaming things like HOLY CRAP TINA THAT’S GRASS, and Tina kept saying that it wasn’t like this up at her house (about 40 minutes from Portland.) She kept saying there was way more “winter” up at her house, that at her house, there was even snow. I believed her too, and as we drove up the hill to her house, I was looking for the winter and the snow. I had already decided that we might have a difference of definition when it came to the word “winter” when I was having trouble locating the snow… and then Tina shouted “There it is! There’s the snow!” and pointed at a pile of snowy leftovers over by the side of the road, and I realized that something had just happened that never happened at home.
Snow was being spoken of in the singular sense.
This part of the world has a lot to recommend it.