OPINION: Dreaming of Indiana springtime

In a hurky-jerky, start-and-stop way, spring is taking hold in central Indiana.

Not that I should be surprised with the season’s scatterbrained approach. I’ve lived in the Midwest my entire life. The only predictable aspect of springtime is its unpredictability.

And yet, this year seems to be more fraught that most, with balmy days perfect for playing outside followed by snow flurries and biting wind.

This weather roulette has made it difficult for our outdoors-loving family so far. We’ve taken advantage of those sunny days, playing baseball in the backyard, riding bikes around the neighborhood and listening to music on the front porch.

But we want more.

Anthony and I have been talking about all the things we can’t wait to do when the days finally topples towards the “nice” side of the weather scale.

First and foremost: We’re going camping, Anthony said. Our backyard is the perfect place to put up our two-person tent — you get to feel like you’re sleeping under the stars, with the sounds of birds and passing rabbits, and maybe a hooting owl, while still having the security to know your nice, warm bed is just inside the house.

Anthony already is planning out our campout snacks: Doritos, gummy bears, carrot sticks and ranch, Goldfish. We’ll fill up our canteens with cold water. Before laying down, we’ll make s’mores over the fire pit.

And there will be ghost stories — spooky, but not too scary. There is already a lot of pressure to strike the perfect balance.

We’re looking forward to other spring-time traditions. I can’t wait to pull out the grill, clean it up and throw some brats and burgers on for that first taste of summer.

Anthony is thinking about the vegetables to plant in our garden; so far, he’s landed on cherry tomatoes and sugar-snap peas. We’ve looked at new places for a flower garden, and talked about good locations for daylilies and some added hostas.

My wife is excited for me to break out the power washer and rid our porch and patio of old spiderwebs, mummified gnats and the general grime of the winter. The outdoor furniture will be lugged out of the garage and cleaned up. Soon there will be planters full of flowers and pleasant evenings spent watching the sun set over our pond.

These things are all coming, we know. We have to be patient, to enjoy those glorious sunny days in the high 60s, with not a hint of humidity and a refreshing breeze. Spring will arrive, soon enough.

But if it snows one more time …