Mud Season, Shoulder Season, No-Good-Movies-Until-Memorial-Day Season. Call it what you will, spring has returned to Juneau, a magical time of year marked by lengthening daylight, returning wildlife and close-out deals on Cadbury Crème Eggs. But the capital city abounds in more subtle seasonal phenomena (e.g. the preponderance of pale exposed leg-flesh).
Spring is back in Juneau when:
1. Your kids are outside spraying each other with the hose.
2. You finally take down your Christmas lights.
3. Your neighbors, on the other hand, are breaking out the Fourth of July decorations.
4. Skunk cabbage, speed traps and dog turds sprout up all over town.
5. An inexplicable desire arises to start running again, although not enough to make you do much more than create a new playlist.
6. Everyone’s walking around in Folk Fest hoodies.
7. Speaking of which, you’re still nursing a wicked string-band hangover. Best cure: Slayer — a little “Reign in Blood” should straighten you right out.
8. You question all that gravel on your driveway during the winter now that you’re tasked with raking it from your lawn.
9. You find yourself sunbathing in nothing but a sports bra and athletic skort, in some cases directly on snow. What? I can sunbathe in a sports bra and athletic skort if I want. Why else did I move to Alaska? Certainly not for the kosher deli, I’ll tell you that.
10. You wake up every morning to the sound of somebody pressure-washing something that blatantly doesn’t pressure-washing at 5:30 a.m.
11. While we’re on the subject, you wonder what the deal is with all the leaf blowers around here; last time you checked, the vast majority of local trees aren’t deciduous.
12. Your garage looks like something from that TV show “Hoarders.”
13. You put up your blackout curtains, aka tin foil and duct tape.
14. You’re happy when it rains so you can finally clean your house.
15. You’ve grown so blasé about viewing Northern Lights, you won’t get out of bed unless “they’re actually doing something.”
16. You discover why it was a bad idea to leave your bike outside uncovered since last September.
17. People are burning stuff.
18. You’re burning stuff.
19. Your kids resume peeing off — and, in some cases, on — the deck.
20. You also resume peeing off — and, in some cases, on — the deck.
21. Now that first-chair at Eaglecrest ceases to be a consideration, you can reintroduce crepes to the weekend breakfast rotation. And Bloody Marys.
22. You step in bear scat taking out the garbage.
23. You’ve exhausted every excuse for not dealing with that pile of old tires and roofing shingles in your yard. Better throw a giant electric blue tarp over it. After all, you don’t want it to be an eyesore.
24. Once again the question rears its ugly head as to whether you’ll be growing anything more than just weeds in your garden this summer.
25. (If you answered, “yes” to the above). You find yourself walking out of a supermarket having purchased — in addition to the week’s groceries — multiple varieties of manure.
26. You promise your daughter you’ll build that playhouse you promised to build her last April … right after you build the woodshed you promised yourself you’d build the April before that.
27. You feel a primal urge to swing a war club—a softball bat will have to suffice.
28. You’ve rented (or are planning to rent in the very near future) a piece of gas-powered machinery.
29. You’re installing a new mailbox. Again.
30. It’s time to decide whether to trim the winter beard or go full-on “Abbey Road”-era John Lennon with that bad-boy.
31. Even if it’s sleeting, you’re wearing flip-flops, goshdarnit!
32. Instead of feigning interest as someone you don’t know but wind up standing next to at a bonfire drones on and on and on about backcountry skiing, you now feign interest as that same person holds forth on fly fishing.
33. You take the ice skates out of your trunk and hang them up for the season — lake’s looking a little soft for spring skating.
34. While you’re at it, check under the seats for old forgotten thermoses of hot cocoa. Discover them this summer and you’ll never drink Swiss Miss — or eat cottage cheese — ever again.
35. You start oiling your guns for fishing season. After all, that halibut’s not going to shoot itself in the face with a .44.
36. Deviled eggs reappear at potlucks.
37. It’s your kid’s first Little League practice, and the weather forecast calls for snow.
38. You suddenly feel like maybe you should mow your lawn. Don’t worry; the feeling will pass.
39. The tanzanite shops stir back to life.
40. Your kids now go to bed an hour and a half later and wake up an hour and a half earlier, thereby effectively limiting you and your spouse’s child-free alone time to brushing your teeth and passing out while power-streaming David Attenborough nature documentaries. Most effective birth control, ever.
• Geoff Kirsch is an award-winning Juneau-based writer and humorist. “Slack Tide” appears every second and fourth Sunday.