Yesterday was the first day of spring, officially. Here in Wisconsin the high temperature was 23 degrees (that’s Fahrenheit, for those of you in, oh, everywhere in the entire world except in the United States – in Celsius that comes to ... something not very spring-like) and there is still a foot of snow on the ground. We got several more inches of the stuff on Monday, in fact. We’ve also had gale force winds for most of the week, enough to make driving an interesting proposition on rural roads around here and push the wind-chills down to the point where it really doesn’t matter whether you are measuring it in Fahrenheit, Celsius or sad-faced brass monkeys – it’s just cold. But still: officially, spring.
Naturally the local walk-up soft ice cream stand is open for business.
Because people in Wisconsin don’t care about the weather, that’s why. They want their ice cream. One of my first impressions of this state when I moved here was the ice cream freezers at the local supermarket, which were longer and more fully equipped than some warships. Unless there is an actual blizzard in progress, people here see no reason why they can’t just pop out for some ice cream at any point in the year. And even then, they will often try anyway.
I’m not convinced of this – my ice cream consumption totals maybe a quart a year, which is less than the average Wisconsinite licks off their fingers each month – but then I’m not from around here, in so many, many ways, so it really doesn’t matter what I think. What matters is what my children think. And they were born here.
So there we were, on the first official day of spring, standing in line (in line!) at the ice cream joint for our inaugural cones and sundaes of the year.
The guy behind us didn’t even have a coat. I’m guessing his thought process went something like, “I’m in line to buy ice cream, therefore it must be warm, therefore I can just wear a t-shirt.”
It must be said that it was good ice cream, as soft serve goes. We debated sitting at one of the picnic tables set up around the place for just that purpose, but that would have required shoveling and the wind might have blown our ice cream into the street, so we ate in the car.
Spring is here in Wisconsin.