Grasshopper Soup: A full body spring has sprung |

Grasshopper Soup: A full body spring has sprung

Bob Sweigert
Special to the Sun

Spring is economical. I donand#8217;t have to turn the heater on in the morning. Now that the so called and#8220;shoulderand#8221; season is upon us, it helps to save every penny. Calm, blue Tahoe mornings like these are even better when we can enjoy them for less.

If you have to use a body part to describe a poor economic season, I can think of a better one than shoulder. But the and#8220;offand#8221; season has its advantages, like more free time for the physical, outdoor activities we love. Call it full body season.

Roads have shoulders. Simple, down to earth country folk still call it the side of the road, which makes more sense. Itand#8217;s not as poetic as shoulder, but simple enough for a child to understand. If roads had shoulders, it would follow that they also have noses, if you want to be picky about it, which I donand#8217;t. A road with a nose could explain tunnels. Roads would also have belly buttons, Adamand#8217;s apples and … I better stop there.

OK, so today I am writing for five year olds. You can thank spring for that. Spring inspires youth, which can also spell trouble. Spring is for new growth, joy and laughter.

Silliness may be the most sophisticated attitude of all. We adults, with our experience and knowledge, should be even better at it than children. But how often do you hear an adult say, and#8220;I canand#8217;t drive on the shoulder. I might get a cold one and be shrugged offand#8221;?

Some of the silliest people I know are adults. Their complete lack of silliness is what makes them so silly. They give the impression that they believe itand#8217;s a sin to smile, and immature to act happy, which may be true for them because they have grown so miserable. Make a silly joke around them at your own risk. They say they are being mature and professional, but they are so silly itand#8217;s sad. They take all the Spring out of life. We will all get old and decrepit soon enough. Why rush the process? Iand#8217;d rather hang out with Dr. Seuss than Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.

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For everything there is a season. A time to be serious, and a time to get tough. But if you have to get stuck in one season for life, the least you can do is get stuck in spring. I would rather be driven nuts by someone who is constantly silly than someone who is constantly humorless, impatient, grumpy and hyper-critical.

Spring mornings are just too beautiful to be too serious. But the seriousness of the wild is always close at hand. At 4:30 a.m. on the first full day of spring, I was driving some people to the Reno airport. Somewhere between Tahoe City and River Ranch, on the side of the road, or the shoulder, whichever you prefer, two pairs of eyes began to flicker in the headlights. I saw what looked like a big house cat running from the other pair of eyes, which ended up being attached to a coyote. We watched the cat run up a tree, and saw the telltale short tail of a lynx. It was the first time I ever saw a lynx, also known as a bobcat, though not named after me. The coyote was very close behind the cat, but terribly unlucky. He stared at us as we went by, obviously not too happy about having had his breakfast so rudely interrupted. You should have seen the silly look on his face. Welcome to the off season, or the shoulder season, whichever you prefer, Mr. Coyote. Donand#8217;t look so forlorn. That fat cat could have just as easily had you for breakfast.

Spring has also blessed us with the hope of some health care improvements but, how much do you want to bet, many Americans still wonand#8217;t be able to afford health insurance?

That could be silly, or serious, depending on which side of the road your shoulder is on, and whether or not you have an unseasonable chip on it.

Get serious about happiness. Enjoy life. Goof around a little. Be like a child.

Bob Sweigert is a Sierra Sun columnist, published poet, ski instructor and commercial driver. He’s lived at Lake Tahoe for 27 years.