With weather like we've had the past couple of weeks, it's no wonder a middle-aged man's fancy, not unlike that of his younger brethren, turns to more pleasant thoughts this time of year like gardens and golf and longer days.
The calendar tells me it's only Jan. 16. Way too early for spring fever.
I'm still in the throes of cabin fever that was as much the result of a cold virus that swept through The Observer as it was the snow and subfreezing temperatures that our region endured and might still see more of.
The weather was relatively easy, but the cold nullified my brain cells and forced me onto the couch this past weekend. You can only watch so much TV and take so many naps.
"Wanna play a game?'' Karyl, also recovering from a bout with the Big Observer Cold of 2004, asked. "You pick.''
"I can't even think,'' I snorted. "My brain's not working.''
"Good. Maybe I can win,'' she snickered.
More often than not she wins anyway, even when I'm at 100 percent. I wasn't about to endure more embarrassment than I usually do. I felt bad enough already.
So, bored stiff but unable to do anything about it, I had a choice: Haul the golf clubs out of the basement for a little cleanup, or peruse the gardening and seed catalogs that have been stacking up around the house the past couple of weeks.
I chose the latter. Less effort.
Wrong move! What are those companies trying to prove, anyway? They're just trying to make those of us in zones 4-9 feel worse than we already do.
My congested brain began to envision what this year's garden might behold. What we could do differently this year. What varieties of vegetables we should grow.
Never mind the fact that we're just three weeks into winter. That snow still covered the ground outside and that more could arrive any time between now and the end of March.
That warm days are still months away.
I was in a zone. A cold-induced, post-winter storm fantasy zone. Even the flowers in the catalogs started looking good.
It took me a good day or two before I came back to my senses. Tromping through the snow to restock the wood bin helped. Defrosting the car windows Monday morning aided my recovery, too.
What was I thinking? It's not spring. It's not even close to spring. Get real. Put the catalogs away for another day another month, or two, or three.
Next time I'll go for the golf clubs. Or even a game of mentally challenged Scrabble or Trivial Pursuit.
At least one of us would feel better.