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It was yucky.
Some sort of great big bug committed suicide on my windshield as I was driving home from a meeting at our newspaper in Campbell County Friday afternoon.
I won’t go into all the gory details, but what remained of the insect left green, yellow and reddish-purple juices streaming down the glass and onto the hood.
To be honest, I don’t know how that much liquid a bug can hold, but this one must have been a beaut.
The darned thing’s remains pretty much turned my stomach.
Even my best efforts to clear it away with my windshield washer and wipers proved fruitless.
Hence, I ended up at a car wash.
Ever arrived at one of those places with a great need and no change in your pocket?
Luckily, I had several dollar bills folded in my pocket.
Still, getting the darned change machine to recognize and spit out quarters proved to be quite an adventure.
After several tries, I finally ended up with eight coins.
Then I fed the machine so it would spray soapy water all over the front of the car to get rid of the gunk.
While it was an inconvenience at the end of a long day, I did manage to put a positive spin on the situation.
If great big bugs are splatting on our windshields, spring can’t be too far off. Aaah!
Thunderstorms over the past several days were even greater hints.
While I don’t exactly covet dealing with power outages — getting the newspaper in your hands takes a lot of electricity — I subscribe to an ancient theory often shared with me by mountain folk who raised me.
Basically, the old tales center on the belief that the first thunderstorm of the year signals that snowfall is over.
Of course, I suspect that was before any of us heard of “thundersnow.”
I experienced my first one of those unusual weather events back in 1993.
That’s when the corner of Virginia I was living in was slammed by 18 inches of snow in late January.
As best as I can tell, that also coincided with the Blizzard of ’93 everyone here uses as a benchmark for really serious winter weather.
I’m claiming bug parts on my car — coupled with thundershowers — are clear signs winter is behind us.
Surely, we’ll face a few more cold snaps.
But snow and ice?
As I told a colleague in Mississippi last week, “We’ve gone from snowin’ to mowin’.”
I’m fine with that.
Good riddance to the white stuff!
I notice clumps of 5 and 6-inch high grass out in the front yard.
Daffodils are peeking up in neighborhood flower beds.
I even realized the one thing I actually can grow (just call me Mr. Brown Thumb) is starting to crop up outside — dandelions.
Driving from Kingston to Rockwood Sunday afternoon, I was reminded that we all need to be on guard as spring wrestles with winter.
Caught in a downpour, I slowed way, way, way down on I-40.
My wipers hardly made a dent in the spray falling from the heavens.
Thunder rolled and lightning danced across the ridges.
My car slipped and slid a little on the river of water pouring down from the dark skies.
I know we all want to hurry winter away.
But I suspect we would be well advised to slow down ourselves.
Remember, the turn of seasons brings on the potential for severe weather.
Care on all our parts is a necessity. Hopefully, by exercising caution none of us will show up on the front page of the paper as the “wreck of the week” because we went SPLAT on some one else’s windshield.
As for the bugs … bring ‘em on. I’ve got a jar full of quarters ready, willing and able.
Just remember, as in the Dire Straits song … “Sometimes you’re the windshield. Sometimes you’re the bug.”