I really love the fact that we have four real seasons here in East Tennessee. This was not the fact when I lived in Louisiana. There, the fall season was about three weeks long starting from Mid-November. Next we would get our first peak at winter with the first frost. More often than not it was followed by a fake fall which meant the temps went back up to the mid 80’s again for a couple of weeks.
Winter might actually be as long as ten days. This occurred when the temperature dropped below 40 degrees. Though in Louisiana most people were known to fire up the gas fire places when the air temp got below 55. Spring might possibly be as much as three weeks long. Spring was easily identified by the blooming of azaleas and dogwood trees. Then it was followed by a weeks return to fake winter for a week or two depending if Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow or not that year. Then we settled in for basically eight months of summer. This meant 100% humidity and temps in the high 90’s or even higher.
When I lived in Chicago it was pretty much reversed. Winter was eight months long with temps seldom above 30 degrees and we could have months of gray overcast skies where we never saw the sun. Spring only lasted one week. It was usually the first week of June. Fall also lasted only about one week before the first blizzard. Summer could fluctuate from three to six weeks depending if we were lucky.
Here in Tennessee we get the best of all four seasons. Though I have to admit spring is my personal favorite. I love this time of year when the daffodils are in bloom. I love waiting for the wild Dogwoods and Redbuds to come alive. We don’t have much in the way of azaleas here but we do have Rhododendrons which are spectacular by any measure and well worth the drive into the mountains to see them in full bloom.
Another sign of the return of spring happen when the TVA begins to let the water levels rise in the local lakes. Life begins to emerge from its winter hibernation. Wildflowers are in abundance everywhere you look. One night you would swear that your front yard was brown and then overnight it is suddenly appears a verdant green.
So much in nature reminds you of the sheer abundance of God’s creation. Spring reminds you that what might appear dormant is really never dead. It’s good to live in East Tennessee. We are blessed with so much that most of us tend to take for granted. Enjoy it. Enjoy it all. Get your hands dirty in potting soil. Put in your vegetable gardens. Share a portion of your produce with your neighbors. For God has been especially good to those of us who live in Tennessee.