Saturday a milestone of sorts occurred, but it’s not likely that you read about it in your local paper or saw it on the evening news. The first true sign of spring occurred on the cobblestoned streets of downtown Galveston, Texas. Yes, for the first time since last August or so, Gary wore shorts out in public. Normally, this small event has no effect on anything, but judging by the reactions of small children I passed who suddenly asked their mommies for sunglasses, winter’s white made the streets.
I’m not a sun worshiper by any stretch, but through hiking and other activities through the sun months I usually get a casual tan. Which means, of course, that each winter my legs bleach back to their native bright white, making the first day of spring in which I dare to venture forth in shorts an interesting contrast of colors: semi-tanned upper body blending with white legs like a two-tone ’57 Chevy Bel-Air. I kid about the kids and sunglasses, but not by much. At least I didn’t wear black socks with my hikers and thus avoided being confused with those guys from Florida walking around in Bermuda shorts, white shoes, and black socks. My fashion taste does have some boundaries.
Saturday was a sunny, moderate day with a slight breeze. Ideal weather in my part of the world that gets blazingly hot and humid sooner than we’d all like. These halcyon days make us Houstonians feel like venturing out into the world like normal folks instead of holing up inside air conditioned everythings to survive the tropical heat. And so at the start of spring we get a brief opportunity to tan our winter white and get some much needed sunshine to warm our souls.
For those of you who survive true winter, I realize this part of the world gets little sympathy for whining about our version of the season, and rightly so. Even though we don’t suffer through extreme cold, ice, or snow, we do live with an extreme monotone grey blah that permeates everything until spring shows up around March of every year. I’d take the bitter cold of a snowy blanket countryside any day over the weathered grey that never changes (except for the frequent, equally grey, cold rains). At least to my eyes that would be a refreshing change of scenery.
Part of any trip to Galveston includes good food (hey, the definition of a good trip anywhere includes good food and eating illicitly, but I digress…), and Saturday was no exception. I ate lunch at a small restaurant I’d discovered several years ago, one named after our state “bird” – the mosquito. When you’re known for something worldwide, you tend to celebrate that thing whether good or bad. While mosquitoes are the epitome of bad, The Mosquito Cafe is exactly the opposite. A wonderful small caf