It's getting on toward the high season here in Conway -- a potent combination of college and high school graduations seasoned with the local festival, Toad Suck Daze.
Anything that happens annually suggests comparisons with years past. And this year, the comparison is quite favorable. When I think of May graduations, I remember sweltering in my heavy academic robes while waiting outside for the processional. When I think of Toad Suck Daze, I remember sunscreen and the desperate search for the fresh-squeezed lemonade concession.
It's usually hot around the first of May, is what I'm saying. Temperatures begin to climb toward the top end of the eighties and the low end of the nineties. The brief perfection of spring gives way with alarming celerity to the endurance test of summer.
I hate to jinx it, but this spring has been an extended delight. For nearly two months, temperatures have been in the sixties and seventies. The brilliant green of new leaves on the hardwoods, the near-embarrassing voluptuousness of azaleas and dogwoods and hydrangeas, the endless cerulean blue of the clear sky -- day after day we've enjoyed them in perfect comfort.
Hope begins to strengthen that the long vigil of soaker hoses and three-digit highs will hold off for a while longer. That the children will not return from Toad Suck Daze coated with sunblock mixed with sweat. That the ten-minute walk from my house to the basketball arena where graduation is held will be breezy and pleasant. That I might not even bother to shed my velvet hat on the way home.