Winter Is Going – Isn’t It?

The Groundhog didn’t see his shadow, but I saw mine. A month later, and it is still winter. My shadow knew!

Winter can seem to drag on forever, especially when you reach March 2nd, and it’s still cold and wet out there. Whatever happened to Punxatawney Phil’s prediction of only 4 more weeks of winter? That was a month ago. Hello? Fact is, Phil only gets it right about 35 % of the time.

My weather app shows snowflakes on three days over the next week. The highs don’t get out of the 30’s, through next Friday. Yes, it is getting old. I’m dog tired of the cold.

My mind usually turns to baseball right about now, with the players all gathered down in Florida and out in Arizona, beginning to play Spring Training ball. For us Nationals (Nats) fans, our long winter of wondering where Bryce Harper would end up is finally over – he signed with the hated rival Phillies, 3 hours up the road, which means we’ll see him 19 times a season.

Pitching a snowball in Cooperstown, NY, at baseball’s Hall of Fame

While he provided a lot of exciting moments for Nats fans over the last 7 years, I never fully bought into the Bryce hype. Call me jaded, but I’ve seen a lot of phenoms come and go, and none of them yet have been able to hold a candle to my childhood hero, Roberto Clemente. Just sayin’…

The Nats had another, much less hyped phenom, emerge last season, 19 year old Juan Soto, who simply went out and put up better numbers than Harper had at the same age. With Soto and another top prospect appearing to be ready from prime-time, Victor Robles, we honestly didn’t even need Harper. I strongly suspect we’ve already seen his best, and his career is now on the downhill slide.

The Phillies signed him for a record $335 million over 13 years, with no opt-out clause for the team, and a no-trade clause for Bryce. Good luck with that, ya’all! While he’ll put the butts in the seats up there, I’m hoping the Nats laugh all the way to the World Series, something Bryce could never carry them to. That’ll really kill Bryce to see that, and will serve him right for chasing the almighty bucks over a home town that truly loved him. He was well-loved here in DC, whereas he’ll always be the big-bucks free agent who I suspect will never live up to his billing, in Philly. They will eat him alive up there if he doesn’t deliver.

My Winter Classic Igloo, built a few years ago

See what I mean? Thinking and talking baseball takes me away from all of this – even if just for a moment.

We went down to Virginia Beach a couple weekends ago. It was warm and balmy on the boardwalk the first night, but turned cold and rainy the rest of the weekend. We had to come home a day early when Kathy came down with pneumonia. So much for that get-away. We were both sick the following week, her with the pneumonia, me with vertigo. I only wound up working on Thursday and Friday of that week, since Wednesday was a snow day, with the government closed.

This week, I was feeling very unengaged at work on Monday and Tuesday. This is a problem, since I am the executive in charge of Employee Engagement for the 10,000 employee agency I work for. I quickly realized I was on the precipice of a rabbit hole I’d never be able to dig myself out of, so I just noted in my journal, “I need help.” I talked about it at a meeting Tuesday night. The rest of the week, I couldn’t have felt more engaged, as everything just turned around, and I was out of that hole before I fell into it. Thank God for that!

Spring scene, taken on a walk last year.

March is actually one of those months I really look forward to. Besides the hope of spring to come, springing eternal, there is St. Patrick’s Day, usually coming right around when spring really does start to bust out of the winter doldrums. Being offically 74.8% Irish (I know this, thanks to the DNA tests a couple of my brothers recently took), it’s a day I’ve always loved to celebrate my Irish heritage on. But you won’t find me drinking a green beer – it is also the day I celebrate my sobriety on, this year being my 39th year of continuous sobriety. It’s actually been 41 1/2 years since my last drink, but on March 16th, 1980, I smoked my last weed, and I count my sobriety from that point forward. I wasn’t really sober when I was still getting high.

Now, I just get high on life. There’s a lot to get high on, in life, without the need for an outside stimulant. That’s my ramble for the second day of March.

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