According to an Internet post I just read from The Old Farmer’s Almanac, 2016 will mark the earliest spring of any of our lives.
Before you get your hopes up, we are only talking about it being a day or so early, or even a few hours depending on where you live, and only because of the way leap years are calculated. Officially, on your calendar, the first day of spring will be March 20. It’s usually the 21st. But the almanac claims that the vernal equinox, one of only two days each year when the day is equally divided between daylight and darkness, will actually take place on March 18 or 19.
In the meantime, it is March in Kentucky and you can be reasonably sure that if you don’t like the weather right now, wait a few hours and it will change and keep changing until you finally get something you can enjoy for at least a few minutes.
I recall one year, in mid-March back in the 1990’s, when we had a genuine blizzard in Garrard County with snowdrifts several feet deep, completely covering the fence rows on one side of highway 52 and grass poking up on the other side. As I recall, we experienced, at least locally, both the warmest and coldest days of winter in March of that year.
On the other hand, it has felt like March to me ever since Thanksgiving.
As most of you know, if you regularly read this column, I contend with Parkinson ’s disease. I don’t say I “battle” it, beyond taking medication three times daily, because that would imply putting up a fight and expending a lot of effort trying to fix something that can’t be fixed. It simply is what it is and there it is and there’s not a thing I can do about, so why waste effort?
Mr. Parkinson affects different people in very different ways that are often peculiar to our own situations.
We Parkinson’s patients all put up with a bunch of common physical and mental limitations caused by our brains’ inabilities to produce sufficient dopamine, but the way we react to any given situation is oftentimes radically different from other people who have contend with the same disease.
I do not, for example, know of any other Parkinson’s patient who is as aggravated by frequent changes in barometric/atmospheric pressure as yours truly.
Matters not if it is high or low, I can get adjusted to a change in pressure within a matter of hours and function relatively normal. But it seems to me that, except for a scant few consecutive days, the barometric pressure has not stayed steady for more than a few hours at a time since late last fall and it usually starts changing well before I’ve had time to get used to it.
Changing temperatures, sunny or overcast conditions or falling weather (rain, snow, etc.) have no noticeable effect on my ability to function if they are not accompanied by rapid rises or falls in pressure.
I can’t usually tell which way it’s going unless I already know where it is. But I can darn sure tell you if it’s moving because I get splitting headaches, lose equilibrium/balance and muscle control. My left arm and hand, which function at less than 50 percent in the best of circumstances, go completely out of control and I don’t even try to negotiate the stairs or porch steps unless I have a sturdy rail for my right hand or someone to lean on.
So come on, spring, and hurry up about it too.
Columnist Ike Adams is a native of Blair Branch at Jeremiah. He now lives in Garrard County.