Samuel J. Tanner 4 minute read

Snowy Spring

It's spring in Pennsylvania. And it snowed into April. I don't like it. I need sunlight and warmth. I got a little yesterday. It's starting to warm up.

The weather has been strange lately. There were two or three days of gusting winds last week. My backyard is a veritable forest. There were hundreds of sticks and branches out there to be picked up.

As my Jewish father would say: Oi.

As my Norwegian great-grandmother would say: Oofdah.

Home ownership is for the birds. Or for people who can afford to hire a lawn service. I'm neither of these things. I'm just a humble man with too many branches to gather.

A light switch broke in our garage last week. The flourescent lights turned on. We couldn't turn them off. There's about 8 flourescent bulbs in the basement. And they are nestled underneath the insulation in the garage. Call me a worrywart, but I feared a fire if we let the flourescents burn all night. So I texted my electrician. This was happening as I was getting ready for our monthly improv show. Have I mentioned I'm in an improv company? I joke. I've been blathering about improv in this blog for months. We even held a recital last week. Students in our first level one class performed for an audience of their friends and family. It was wonderful. I'm so proud of the improv community we're building.

Anyway, the electrician told me to turn the breaker off. I wasn't home, so Katie did hit the switch. With help from a friend who was bringing her to our show. Again, we're not much for home ownership. In Minnesota, we had family who helped us take care of our house. We're on our own out here, and much of this is new to us.

The electrician arrived the next day. He charged me $50 for a new light switch. I watched him put it in. Could I have done this myself? Probably, but the lesson and piece of mind was worth the fee. Next time, I'll do the switch myself. It ain't rocket science. But it's new to me.

Responsiblities keep adding up. Home ownership. My work as a professor. My work with improv. Children, bills, and adulthood! Oh my.

It's a fool's game, adulthood. Worry about this, that, and the other thing. Give the worry up, I say. Easier said than done. But I'm trying.

I was on campus at Penn State last week. I was racing to get to the Forum Building. Happy Valley Improv had been invited to do a 20 minute set at an improv festival put on by students. I was running late, so I was almost jogging. An older man was in front of me. Both of us overheard two college students complaining about their boyfriends.

"It's really not that bad," the older man said with laughter to the girls. They ignored him.

I chuckled to myself. Not bad advice.

He looked at me. "It really isn't."

"No, it really isn't," I told him with a smile.

"It's so easy to get caught up in little things," the man told me. "But we're only here for awhile. It'll be okay."

I nodded, and laughed again. What an odd exchange.

"Take care," the man said, he turned and walked away from me.

What a myserious interaction. I made it to the Forum building, and Happy Valley Improv put on one of our best sets yet. Improv is so much fun.

It's spring in Pennsylvania. And yes, it has been a long winter. And there are sticks everywhere. But it's really not that bad. We've only got a little time here. Enjoy it. And then see what comes next. Good advice.