by Brian Clarey

1. Lawnmower season

Like all good homeowner-dads, I’ve got my mower tuned up and ready to go, with a couple cuts under my belt already. The lawn looks like crap — last year I killed all the weeds without realizing that they comprised about a third of my yard — but this year I’m gonna leave it to its own devices, using the mower and weed whacker to keep it in line.

2. Patio time

This is the greatest time of year to dine al fresco, whether at home or at one of the great patios in the Triad. My own patio is primed and ready for action, with a fresh coat of paint and a regular sweeping of the small, dead animals my cats sometimes leave there as offerings.

3. Wardrobe shift

In 1997, I decided that I would never wear shorts again on the grounds that they were too undignified. Ginsburg implemented the same wardrobe rule a few years later. I made it through one hot Louisiana summer before caving the next year. Nowadays I will wear shorts on weekends. For work I move to things looser and lighter and pull back on the black. It’s the season for straw hats, too, necessary for those with scant hair cover up top.

4. Fresh food

You can get fresh, local strawberries right now, today. The strawberries usher in the most bountiful season in North Carolina: Within weeks we’ll have peaches, tomatoes, blueberries, ’cukes, peppers, snap beans, sweet corn and tomatoes, among others.

5. A dash of summer

It’s not summer yet, but swim-team practice has started, the pool is opening in a week or so and the kids already have that short-time look in their eyes when I drop them off at school. Just a few more weeks, and I can take that daily chore off my list.

6. Cigars

It takes me about half an hour to smoke a cigar, which makes it impractical for me to do in the cold months. I’m looking forward to the first of the season, which will likely happen this weekend.

7. Coffee

I know the seasons have changed when I switch from hot coffee to cold coffee. I did so just a couple weeks ago. Like the strawberries, cold coffee is a harbinger of what’s to come.

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