Spring has ‘sproinged’ and splattered

You can practically hear the sproing, sproing, sproing of spring springing to life all around us as all the pretty flowers poke up their pretty heads in bloom and the meadowlarks sing their happy Spring song and Mr. Sun winks at us from his happy place in the beautiful blue sky.

You can practically hear the sproing, sproing, sproing of spring springing to life all around us as all the pretty flowers poke up their pretty heads in bloom and the meadowlarks sing their happy Spring song and Mr. Sun winks at us from his happy place in the beautiful blue sky.

No wait, sorry, that’s a Disney cartoon.

These days, our spring doesn’t sproing as much as splat.

Our spring consists of mucky flooding and dirty streets, snow mould, allergies and plugged sinuses that a shovelful of antihistamines can’t touch.

But when I was a kid, springtime meant two wonderful things: riverlets in the street gutters and rubber boots.

How many blissful hours did my buddies and I spend floating toothpicks and matchsticks and twigs down those tiny springtime street-rivers?

We would see if we could float our ships all the way to South School – which, of course, made us perpetually late for school.

We would have races over the little waterfalls and around the miniature ice flows, trying to fish out our mini-boats before they disappeared down the drain at the street corner. Which of course happened when you finally got a really good stick-boat.

And spring meant digging out our rubber boots, and stomping on every perfect window-pane frozen puddle we could find.

Frozen street-puddle crunching is an addictive pastime. Like eating potato chips, you can’t stop at just one.

And we became professional waders.

We would shuffle our rubber boots into the larger deeper puddles and the creeks – ice cold water that you could feel right through your boots.

We would wade as far in as we dared, and more often than not that meant getting a bootfull of that icy water on account of most of us had folded the tops of our rubber boots inside out, making a trendy grey collar around the top of our shiny black, red-soled kickers.

I can still see us standing there in the water, wobbling on one leg like a flock of deranged pink flamingoes, emptying out bootfulls of freezing muddy water, trying not to fall over into the murky mess.

Soaked socks hung off our frozen feet like dead fish. Good times.

Nowadays though, adult-spring just means a few days of melting muddle before the next unexpected “unseasonable” snow storm.

You can hardly take your cabin-fevered dogs out for a simple walk around the block without involving a dozen portages over backed-up puddles the size of Pine Lake, carrying two wet muddy dogs over the ponds, the water sloshing in your shoes because you don’t own rubber boots anymore. And if you’re really lucky this time, someone won’t zoom by in a large truck, roaring through the puddle, soaking you with a splash the size and force of Niagara Falls.

And spring doesn’t just mean getting soaked and finding a houseful of dirty pet paw prints. It means a fortune in windshield washer fluid.

When we humans are not walking dogs, sleeping, watching TV or eating, we are driving. And springtime driving means emptying the windshield washer fluid bottle as rapidly as we empty the gas tank.

Every three seconds – squirt, squirt, squirt goes the windshield squirter; flap, flap, flap goes the windshield wipers.

It’s all we can do to concentrate on actually driving when we have to talk on our cellphones and manage the constant windshield squirting.

And this makes our daily commute even longer and more complicated on account of we have to stop every several blocks to refill our windshield washer squirters.

So maybe one of these yucky mucky spring days we should all leave the car parked, the windshield fluid in the trunk, grab a few toothpicks from the house, break them in half, leave the dogs at home and go out in search of a nice gutter riverlet.

Oh, and we can’t forget the rubber boots.

The kind with the folded down tops.

We just might want to go stomping and wading too.

As long as we keep an eye out for Niagara Falls.

Harley Hay is a local filmmaker and freelance writer.

Just Posted

One strong wind leaves years of replanting work for Red Deer parks staff

High visibility boulevards already replanted, neighbourhood work starts next year

Red Deerians await local cannabis stores

So far 31 stores in Alberta awarded licence to operate

Rimbey RCMP seek missing man with health concerns

Has anyone seen Bill Harris of Ponka County?

Central Alberta born jaguar dies

Mia was the first jaguar in the world to receive stem cell treatment

Updated: Two men facing kidnapping charges in connection with abduction

48-year-old woman was allegedly abducted in Red Deer on Oct. 17

WATCH: Make-A-Wish grants Star Wars loving teen’s wish

The Make-A-Wish Foundation granted Anakin Suerink’s wish in Red Deer Saturday afternoon

Local Sports: Rudy Soffo valuable to Kings on the court

When Rudy Soffo first saw the RDC basketball Kings roster he was… Continue reading

Except for 1 kick, Saints, Ravens are evenly matched

BALTIMORE — In a matchup between the league’s highest-scoring offence and top-ranked… Continue reading

Julia Louis-Dreyfus gets a top award for comedy

WASHINGTON — After a 35-year acting career and with two iconic television… Continue reading

Ricky Skaggs, Dottie West enter Country Music Hall of Fame

NASHVILLE — Bluegrass and country star Ricky Skaggs, singer Dottie West and… Continue reading

AP Exclusive: Stephen Hawking’s wheelchair, thesis for sale

LONDON — Stephen Hawking was a cosmic visionary, a figure of inspiration… Continue reading

Canada deemed U.S. a safe country for asylum seekers after internal review

OTTAWA — Canadian immigration officials have determined that the United States remains… Continue reading

Bombardier sues Mitsubishi over alleged theft of aircraft trade secrets

MONTREAL — Bombardier is suing Mitsubishi Aircraft in the United States over… Continue reading

Three strong earthquakes reported in Pacific Ocean off Vancouver Island

Three relatively strong earthquakes were recorded Sunday night in the Pacific Ocean… Continue reading

Most Read