Spring is a fickle lover here in Chicago. Suddenly, she comes bursting into your dry, pale arms – sometimes as early as February. Giddy with excitement, you excavate your sandals and what’s left of last year’s tube of sunscreen. But then…
Spring runs out to get cigarettes. She doesn’t show up again for weeks.
“I’m so sorry, baby,” Spring says. Mumbles something about a cold front, a low pressure system, blizzards in North Dakota.
You know it’s bullshit, but you take her back. Again. The desire for picnics and short shorts is just too strong.
Now it’s late May. The leaves are green, the asparagus and rhubarb are chilling in the fridge. Spring, I think you’ve finally decided to commit. Let’s make it official by gathering up the hats, gloves and coats for their summer hibernation.
As I pack up the winter gear, I think ahead to that bittersweet moment when I’ll pull them all out again in six months. As the darkness of winter closes in, I’ll reach my hands into the pockets of my winter coat and find…
A five dollar bill? A stick of still-chewable gum? A dirty Kleenex? A ticket stub from a mid-winter date night? An address for a Craigslist transaction?
Why leave it to chance?
Just like the weather, there’s so much in life that we can’t control. But this year, I will guarantee that my family and I have a pleasant surprise waiting in our coat pockets come November. Something sweet or nostalgic, something to remind us of this moment in time. Maybe a little treat.
WINTER COAT POCKET TIME CAPSULE
Gather your winter coats. Remove and examine the undoubtedly boring contents of your pockets. Now would be a good time to wash your coats, especially if you are disgusting like my children.
Select the contents of your Winter Coat Pocket Time Capsule. Be creative in curating your items, but follow these simple guidelines. The items should:
1) Comfortably fit in your pocket.
2) Be non-perishable and able to survive without melting, rotting or suffocating for about six months, depending on your climate.
3) Not be something that you will actually need for a while. I don’t recommend using Social Security cards, bank statements or accident reports. You never know.
For the kids, I chose a mix of treats, toys and for the 4-year-old, things that she’s been collecting from the park and back yard this spring. The 2-year-old won’t remember any of this anyway, so I just found some stuff under the couch for him.
Scott and I agreed to make each others’ Time Capsules as a surprise. Since he occasionally reads this blog, I can’t tell you exactly what’s in there. But here’s a sneak preview:
Carefully insert the Time Capsule into the coat pockets. If you have multiple winter coats, choose the coat that you will likely wear FIRST, as to not prolong the excitement any more than necessary. You want all family members to find their Time Capsules at approximately the same time.
Hide the coats deep into the closet. And please, cut those toenails. Nobody wants to see that.