Taking the Sunshine Too Far

For an early March day in Missoula, today was beautiful. With the sun shining the whole day and the temperature hitting an unseasonably “warm” fifty-three  degrees, I found myself smiling. Who wouldn’t? For the most part, we have had the great fortune of experiencing a rather mild winter here in Missoula. The heavy snow, the arctic cold, and the brutal winds have decided not to pulverize our town as harshly as they have over the past few years. All that I can say to Mother Nature is THANK YOU.

Because of the fact that we have gotten a nice break this year from a typical Missoula winter, I figured that most people would still be able to differentiate between an early (teaser) spring day and, let’s say, a summer day in the middle of August. I am sometimes too optimistic.

As I walked out of the house late this morning to hop into my car to complete some errands I caught out of the corner of my eye my next door hippie neighbor in the middle of his lawn. My peripheral vision caught enough of the site that should have told my brain not to look over and give it a full glance but I guess I needed confirmation of the ridiculous site. With the outside temperature at forty-seven degrees at the time (according to my car), my granola neighbor was pacing his lawn shirtless and with shorts on. As I always do I avoided eye contact and got into my car as quickly as possible to avoid any type of interaction with the neighbor and drove off.

As I drove down the Rattlesnake*, I saw numerous bikers and runners/walkers in summer clothing getting their exercise in. When I drove through downtown Missoula it looked like people were about to attend the farmer’s market or something. When I unfortunately had to make a stop at Wal-Mart it was hard to ignore the multitudes of people dressed like it was the flippin Fourth of July.


The thing that makes Missoula great is that it is free spirited. People do their thing and judgment for the most part is low. But come on, there has to be a line between free spirited and stupid. Have some type of grasp on what type of clothing is appropriate for various situations. Just because the sun happens to be shining does not mean it is a pass for swim wear. How about besides just looking to see if the sun is out before going shirtless you look at two things: 1. The calendar – If you live in Missoula and it is not even June yet, stay covered up. To make it easier on yourself, if it is still technically WINTER, shorts need not apply. 2. Look at the temperature – If the thermometer indicates that it is a balmy fifty  degrees outside, please make an appropriate decision on how to dress. Fifty degrees will not get you a tan.

By all means, please enjoy the weather. Today got me energized and made me feel happier than I normally would have. Missoula does not see very many nice March days so today was definitely a special treat. But don’t go overboard. Sometimes I feel that Missoula gets such crappy late Winter/Spring weather because Mother Nature can’t stand the way our citizens react when she graces us with a mild, crisp day.  Enjoy it in a windbreaker and jeans…not a tank top and shorts. Don’t Blink.
* The Rattlesnake is the long road that connects the residential area I live in with the main part of town. Rattlesnake Road is a popular place for bikers and runners to utilize for their workouts.

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