Well, almost. At least it's more than halfway out the door. Though we're still all coughing and hacking at Casa Mustang we're starting to see the bright side. The frogs are singing, the sun's coming out, the crocuses are blooming, the dog's still alive.... and we're all finally feeling like we have the energy to enjoy life again.
The first week of sunshine in February brings out the euphoria in Portlanders. Even those who haven't been sick for eons. It's funny as hell. After weeks of dismal drizzle and overcast skies we emerge from our winter lairs, take a look at our sodden yards and sprint (or bike) to the nearest garden center.
For months you commute in darkness and it's easy to think that you're the last human being left on earth and all the faces you can barely see in the other cars are really pod people. Until February when it begins to stay light enough after you get home to walkabout the yard, check out the daffodils ready to bloom, see what favorite perennials survived the winter and you spy your neighbors out doing the same exact thing.
Otherwise, you have no idea what's been going on two houses down. Once, we inadvertantly found out and it scarred us for life. I won't go into details but let's just say it involved bright lights, cameras and very few clothes. We'd have remained blissfully ignorant but for the afore-mentioned bright lights, lack of curtains and unfortunate dearth of foliage on the trees in the yard between us. And had Mr. Stang not started smoking again and happened to step out on the balcony with insomnia one midwinter's night. Just another hazard of smoking they don't tell you about...