It felt like summer, even though it was St. Patrick's Day, and I was fulfilling a rite of passage at the Hout House - taking down my mother's Christmas tree.
You know it's time for the tree to come down when:
(a.) It needs dusted as much as the furniture does;
(b.) The Easter Bunny files a grievance that Santa and all the trimmings have worn out their welcome and are threatening his approaching 15 minutes of holiday fame;
(c.) When the plastic needles start shedding; and
(d.) It's in the 70s, for pity sake.
It seems a little odd to have a tree still up, even though my mother found it perfectly Ruth Ann normal to admire the lights and the decorations whether it was Valentine's Day, Presidents Day or, one last time with feeling, St. Patrick's Day.
Top of the Christmas tree morning to ya'.
I guess when I'm 88 it will be my earned right to observe holidays for whatever duration I deem fit.
But what a stretch of wonderfully weird weather we've been having lately, yes?
I'm writing this column on Wednesday when the temperature reading on the Kiaskimobile dashboard registered 79 degrees by late afternoon. Seventy-nine degrees!
And people from up North are down South to escape the cold. How funny is that.
I came home from work to find Better Half doing something I've never known him to do in March. He was mowing the grass, a chore typically reserved for maybe late April and even then grudgingly so.
You don't want to rush mowing grass, after all, because once you start that, you can't quit or approach it casually.
I remember being told something similar when as a person of junior high age I first started shaving my legs. You've got to keep up with it. There's no turning back.
Legs and lawns require maintenance. That's just the way it is.
We seem to have gone from a not-very-snowy-and-cold kind of winter to a wow-it's-warm-for-March period.
This March came in like a lion - a wimpy one.
But this was the month 19 years ago when we had the blizzard of 1993.
Lots of snow. Lots and lots and lots of snow. And it was c-o-l-d.
But not March 2012.
Just lots of those Asian beetles and stink bugs to put you on the defensive.
I've been wearing sandals, happy to have put my winter boots away.
I've seen people in shorts and tank tops, undaunted by their Casper cast.
I've seen the park come alive with activity from dog walkers to picnic takers.
Maybe it's a new season we're in the midst of - something like Sprummer.
And maybe that calls for celebration and decoration.
A tree, perhaps?
(Kiaski, a resident of Steubenville, is a staff columnist and features writer for the Herald-Star and The Weirton Daily Times and community editor for the Herald-Star. She can be contacted at email@example.com.)