The Warren Woods Spring Carnival

A Sure Sign of Spring

It arrives every year on the second weekend of May. Along with dandelions decorating the lawns along Schoenherr road, there is no surer sign of Spring than the Warren Woods Spring Carnival. Last year, as I was driving home from work one night, I spotted a multi-colored tower in the distance. It foretold the annual arrival of the fair and hopefully warmer weather. This carnival is not for the faint of heart. Mid-May temperatures in suburban Detroit can still be pretty brisk. This can result in rather severe wind chills on some of the faster rides. You might have some bright red ears for a few hours afterwards. However, there is something special about trying to spot your house from the top of the Ferris Wheel.

This sight caused me to instantly flash back on all of the good times our family had at the carnival when my boys were young. We used to spend ridiculous amounts of money on games, rides, and food whenever we went. Specifically, I remember one year, when my son Jeff had been begging to go to the fair all week. Unfortunately, I got stuck working that weekend. When I was finally able to drag myself home, after an emergency in the computer room, all I wanted to do was collapse into my recliner. Even my plan of cracking open a nice cold one was shot to hell. The screaming headache that accompanied me on the ride home from work was a literal buzzkill.

So after eating a rushed dinner, and downing a dangerous amount of Tylenol, Jeff and I headed over to the carnival. This was the first year they had instituted a wristband policy, so you didn’t have to keep buying extra tickets for the rides. Ride all you want, for a price that rivaled Cedar Point! After emptying my wallet, we made our rounds on the Midway. I was hanging in there until Jeff spotted the Gravitron. If you haven’t experienced this nightmare, picture being stuck to the wall of a clothes dryer. Just when you can’t take another second, the floor drops out! It felt like my brains were leaking out of my eyes and ears, and then being stomped on by a rather large elephant. I didn’t win The Father of the Year Award for surviving that ride, but hey, at least I didn’t wind up in the hospital with an aneurysm! The things we do for our kids. I think I’ll pass on the carnival this year, but I’ll remember it fondly as I drive past.

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O, How I Hate Spring!

She’s An Evil Little Witch

I have been asked before why I hate spring so much. Where do I begin? There are so many reasons to hate the most useless time of the year. Don’t get me wrong, I understand the why of spring. The rebirth of nature and all that. I would just like to be somewhere else when it’s happening. Preferably on a beach, with an ice cold beer in my hand. One of the main reasons I despise it so much is my daily walk with my dog, Skittles. She’s not a big fan of spring either. From March through May, we suffer through some of the worse weather conditions you can imagine. It can be in the 30s, with wind, rain, snow, or freezing rain. Or, once it finally warms up a little, you’re still stuck with 55 degrees, sideways rain, fog, and mud. Always lots of mud. It makes you want to reach for your winter parka again. As I said, it sucks.

As any ‘Gander will tell you, in addition to our Great Lakes, Michigan is famous for its schizophrenic weather. However, when we get to spring, mother nature’s crazy kicks into a whole new gear. One day, it’s a beautiful afternoon with temperatures in the 70s. So nice, you are inspired to wash your car. However, that water coming out of the hose is still like liquid ice. Then, the next morning you wake up to find it’s snowed a couple of inches. I hope you didn’t leave your car out! That actually happened to me when I was in high school. I washed my Mom’s car in the driveway on a gorgeous afternoon and the next day it was covered in snow. Arrrrrgh! You can’t make this stuff up.

To me, spring is like a beautiful girl who’s a bit of a tease. One day, temperatures finally start to warm up, and she’s giggling and laughing at your jokes. As the thermometer climbs into the 70s, she might even show you a little leg to get your pulse racing. The next thing you know, the mercury nose-dives and she’s dressed like Randy from A Christmas Story. Any chance of seeing her in a bikini disappears like snowflake in the sun. Then she winks at you, flashes a little cleavage on a sunny day and you’re hooked again. This goes on all season long. Then the week before Memorial Day, summer shows up and kicks that evil little witch to the curb. Where ya been, baby? We’ve missed you!

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