But as you check out the weather report for the next 72 hours, we’ll have a mixture of winter with a chance of spring with a few blasts of summer. Welcome to springtime in the Memphis area.
Located next to the bluff of the Mississippi River, the southwest corner of Tennessee is a special place to be from March 20 to June 20.
Over the next three months, you will be able to take a selfie in a trench coat, sweatshirt, sleeveless T-shirt and drenched in perspiration. While there are plenty of reasons to like spring, I want to use this week’s Best Sellers’ List to focus on the bad.
You might want to call it a “Worst Sellers’ List.” Some of the best things about spring are the NCAA Basketball Tournament, baseball returning, the Earth becoming green again and 72-degree days.
Enough of that sunshine: Let’s drag a dark cloud over the period of the year called spring.
10. Lame holidays
Wintertime brings us Christmas and New Year’s Day. In the fall, Thanksgiving is the centerpiece, with Halloween bringing joy for children. Then in the summertime the duo of Independence Day and Labor Day are hard to beat.
The only good holiday during the springtime is Memorial Day, and it is called the official first day of the summer.
During March and April, we try to celebrate Easter. Will the weather cooperate or will plans be dashed? It will either be too hot or too cold.
Technically St. Patrick’s Day is a wintertime holiday, but several people call it a spring holiday. And it is limited in observance because some folks refuse to wear the beautiful color of green.
9. Spring cleaning
Did your mother just come back from Walmart with a backseat full of new home décor? Or maybe your wife/girlfriend just lost her mind at Sheffield Antiques, Designer Baths and Amish Excellence. I know these places are great for the new look you want in our home. And spring is the perfect time to pop into Sheffield, Designer or Amish to buy new frames, color schemes or arrangements.
But that special woman in your life taking advantage of deals to create her vision for your home leads to spring cleaning.
Spring cleaning is the practice of thoroughly cleaning a house in the springtime. The practice of spring cleaning is especially prevalent in climates with a cold winter. Memphis has winters that allow you to have clutter. That clutter makes your previous decorations look old and faded.
In order to spring up the house, a new wave of pictures, flowers, tablecloths, specialty words and much more are brought into each room. As a man, this means you are the human hammer. You have to lift the heavy stuff and throw away the old.
Spring cleaning becomes a test of endurance. It is a good way to burn some calories.
8. Car washing
So after you get your home that fresh, new style, you have to turn your attention to your motorized vehicle. If a home can build clutter, just image how a car, truck or SUV becomes a wasteland during the winter.
It is too cold to go outside and wash a car during the winter. And if you do, it will just rain or a winter blast will come through, leaving salt and grime on the vehicle.
The first few warm days are the best time to restore you car. But that costs money and time.
Here are your three options to getting your car clean: 1. Do it yourself, 2. Automatic car wash or 3. Pay someone.
In my family, the women I love have option No. 4. I will hand wash their vehicle for free. It is taxing work but it is very rewarding.
I have to admit I do enjoy the three months of not having to wash a car, but I do take pride in my skills of shining up a car.
A bug is an insect of a large order distinguished by having mouth parts that are modified for piercing and sucking. When the soil is warmer, here they come out of the ground. Then these bugs decide they want to become your newest pet. They are lured in by the shining new things in your home and the smell of fresh Pine-Sol.
Besides bugs wanting to ruin your spring cleaning, they want to enjoy your family picnic. And that car you just washed, they are willing to sacrifice their lives to be smushed on the front of your grill.
Let’s define what an insect is: A small arthropod animal that has six legs and generally one or two pairs of wings.
Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, spring is the time for them to reappear to the grand stage of life. Where do these ants, bees and flies hide during the winter? But as soon as the temperature hits 65 degrees, here they come to irritate, sting and torture.
The two prime criminals I hate the most this time of year are the mosquitoes and wasps. We’ve all been in this scenario: You’re walking down the street, trying to enjoy the nice weather. The sun is bouncing warmly off your skin when you hear a sharp buzz in your ear. You go to swinging your arms in an attempt to stop the attack on your life.
Or a place you’ve been frequenting the past few months on a regular basis has become the home of a wasp nest. Now you have to find an alternative route because they will swarm you for “invading” their new home.
While wasps are harder to encounter, mosquitoes are like the official insect of spring and summer. Mosquitoes are the most dangerous insect species on Earth. This deadliest insect causes 1 million deaths every year by transmitting malaria. Mosquitoes carry malaria germs from one place to another, and they spread germs into the blood of their victims by biting.
Those blood suckers make you sick in another way. Less terrifying, mosquitoes are just simply irritating.
Ha-ha-ha-ha, boot season is over, ladies!
Oh no, that means it is sandals season. Now I have to deal with styles like gladiators, wedges, slides, flip-flops and much more. The closing of Payless will send some women scrambling to find an outlet to retrieve these necessary parts of warm-weather fashion.
While I tolerate women always wearing sandals, I am more restrained on men. Most of the time we don’t get pedicures to make sure our feet can be viewed by the public.
And we will wear sandals with socks. I’ve seen men sporting sandals with puffy white or long black socks. We just don’t look as good as women with sandals.
Let’s leave this spring fashion standard to the ladies.
Cars need to be washed more often throughout March, April and early May for one simple reason – pollen. The nearly invisible culprit is a coarse powdery substance composed of pollen grains. It is the male grain of seed plants. These bad boys will leave your car in a light green dust. There will be so many fuzzy tennis balls driving down the streets of Memphis. Pollen is a necessary dusty villain commonly used as a food and food supplement.
Oh yeah – there is one more thing pollen is linked to: Allergies. Pollen allergies can trigger allergic reactions, which affect the sinus and respiratory tract of those with this allergy. Symptoms can include watery eyes, runny nose, rhinitis, sore throat, coughing, increased mucus, headaches and asthma.
This is the price we pay for having beautiful plants, flowers and trees. But remember it is only really bad for a few weeks … in the spring.
3. Grass cutting
Listen. Can you hear them? The symphony of blades running across the mixture of dead winter grass and fresh green blades.
After hearing the mowers, next comes the smell of freshly cut grass. While some folks enjoy the scent of chopped Johnson grass, somebody has to do the cutting. It is hard work to cut grass and do the other yard maintenance.
The many lots that need trimming throughout the Memphis area present a chance to make money for pre-teens to veteran mowers. But this chore is taxing to those homeowners who have purchased a lawnmower. It is so tough that people are willing to pay the aforementioned mowers.
And the reason why grass cutting ranks so high on my list is because it causes a lot of the other things ranked on this list. Cutting one strip of grass can send blades onto a nearby car. Mowing releases pollen and brings you around those insects and bugs.
2. Inconsistent weather
The spring season began March 20 at precisely 5:58 p.m. Eastern Standard Time. We are now in the vernal equinox. Now is the season for unpredictable weather. One day you can be wearing your favorite short pants set and the following 24 hours you’ll need gloves and a coat. Cool to cold temperatures will hang on through April. I’ve seen snow in Memphis in March and April.
My mom calls it “Blackberry Winter.” It’s the time when a cold blast hits us during the spring to help those delicious berries grow. I’m willing to suffer a few cold nights in order to enjoy a few slices of my Mom’s blackberry cobbler.
We just have to deal with the consistent changes by leaving coats, jackets, gloves, hats and thermal socks in our cars until late May.
It’s like the old saying around these parts, “If you don’t like the weather in Memphis, just wait a day.”
I’m scared of tornadoes. I know I live in the wrong country because tornadoes are more common in the United States than in any other country. The United States receives more than 1,200 tornadoes annually. From March to June, it is officially tornado season. All 50 states have suffered from one of these weather phenomena. The Midwest portion of the country is known as Tornado Alley. That alley is getting wider with Arkansas and even us here in the Memphis area.
The South is no stranger to the deadly winds and storms, with several deaths recently in Alabama. As we pray for their recovery and send aid, we have to stay aware of the forecast.
As our atmosphere transitions from cold to extremely hot, we have to pay closer attention to the seven-day forecast. And unfortunately this time of year we have a real possibility for an EF0 tornado, to the strongest, an EF5 tornado.
An EF0 tornado has winds from 65 to 85 mph and may take off a roof and bring down tree limbs. An EF5 tornado has winds of more than 200 mph and can totally destroy reinforced concrete structures.
2008 was a memorable year for the tornado in Memphis. To close out that winter, the Southeastern portion of the U.S. was hit by the 2008 Super Tuesday tornado outbreak. That Feb. 5-6, more than 80 tornadoes occurred. The storm system produced several destructive tornadoes in heavily populated areas like Memphis.
Then that spring we had several warnings and pop-up storms. I remember when the Memphis Tigers were making their magical run to the 2008 National Championship basketball game, and I was torn between watching Tigers trying to survive against Mississippi State or paying attention to the radar in the corner.
I’m glad God showed us mercy and CBS didn’t interrupt the broadcast. I know that sounds crazy, but the nutty time of year called spring brings up this type of dilemma.
THOMAS SELLERS JR. is the editor of The Millington Star and both the sports editor and a weekly personal columnist for Journal West 10 Media LLC. Contact him by phone at (901) 433-9138, by fax to (901) 529-7687 and by email to email@example.com.