An Early Spring

In the northern hemisphere, meteorological spring begins on March 1, with the spring equinox occurring on March 20. That means the first weekend in March can vacillate between winter and spring. Fortunately, we experienced spring-like weather throughout the weekend, with mild temperatures, gentle breezes, and clear skies.

We arrived on Friday afternoon and immediately went to work. It only takes about an hour for us to leave our home, drive to the storage facility, hitch up, and get to our campsite. During that time, we received numerous actionable prompts from our colleagues, which meant we had to respond upon arrival at the site, even before we could complete our set-up. Why must so much work activity take place on a Friday afternoon?

The spring equinox may still be two weeks away, but don’t tell that to the trees. All seem to be budding and blooming. The symphony of birdsong has grown louder. The grass is greening. We are all so eager for spring!

Saturday morning found Jon walking the dogs before dawn while Cliff snoozed in our L.L Bean bed. About two years ago, we purchased a comforter from the company, and we were very pleased with its performance. So it should come as no surprise that when The New York Times recommended the company’s cotton percale sheet set for the sixth consecutive year, we were eager to give them a try. We both love the crisp, breezy feel. It makes lingering in bed a luxury.

On Saturday evening, we enjoyed a campfire cookout, complete with grilled sausage, cheesy broccoli, and cob corn. The campfire crackled through the late night news, bringing us indoors for the new (and utterly boring) episode of Saturday Night Live. Why do we continue to tune in to it?

Gilda Radner. Chevy Chase. John Belushi. We watched them all, week after week, on SNL. The ’70s were a politically charged decade; we celebrated our status as young people in America by chuckling at the disrespectful and socially edgy commentary the show offered each week. But we watched because of the skits. Boundaries thinned from 10:30 pm to midnight on Saturdays. We giggled and understood the jokes because we were an active part of the culture of this SNL decade. We got it.

The decades rolled past. Cast members left and others took up the cause. We mourned the loss of favorite characters, and embraced the new ones. The ’80s and the ’90s were less slapstick and more sedate, but we loved the sarcasm and low-key aggression toward politics and celebrity status.

Then it happened. Beginning somewhere in the new millennium, we started noticing a change in SNL. It wasn’t the show that had changed … it was us.

We still loved the format and the writing. But more and more, we found ourselves turning down the volume when the singing began. We had heard of many of the groups/artists who were performing, but some of them had escaped our aging radar.

SNL aired artists we didn’t know or didn’t like over the next 20 years. Luckily, our remote made them gyrate and hang against the microphone stand in triple time as we whirred past.

We were OK with skipping the music. We wanted to hear the satire. The news. The skits that showcased topics we could identify with. We watched. We laughed. And we felt empowered to still be a part of this rebellious, aware demographic.

The skits are still (sometimes) funny and edgy. But now, we struggle to remember the newest scandal/political drama in order to understand them. Sometimes, we watch the news just so we can understand SNL.

We chuckle at the antics, giggle at the nuances, and pretend we’re as aware of current times as we used to be. To admit otherwise is to become less cool. And we are still part of the coolest generation ever.

We usually drift off after Weekend Update airs. Occasionally, Cliff will soldier on, hoping for a funny sketch after the week’s singing group fast-forwards past.

Bottom line: We can’t seem to quit SNL. It’s like a cognitive test on our aging ability to hear and retain news and cultural happenings. Between SNL and the New York Times news quiz, we hope to keep “with it” for a few more years. But it can be exhausting.

Sunday was wonderful, with clear skies, gentle breezes, and warm temperatures. Our typical pursuits led to an early afternoon brunch and a mid-afternoon nap.