March is better already than the entire month of February was. Yesterday, Ben and I drove up to Mentor Headlands to see if the ice on Lake Erie was breaking up yet. It's not. It was a really cool trip, anyway, though. Even though we have both lived our lives so close to the lake, neither one of us had ever seen Lake Erie frozen over. The ice on the shoreline looked like frozen waves, and we clambered over them and walked out onto the lake. It was sunny and clear, but still bitter cold when the wind blew. And that was the only sound we heard, really. It is unbelievably quiet along the lake when no waves are crashing into the beach. We will wait a couple of weeks and try it again. I would love to see big ice chunks scattered along the beach.
We drove through Chardon on our way home, and stopped at a yarn shop, (naturally) a gallery with a bookstore in the basement, and a three-story antique shop before we had lunch in a newly-opened restaurant. I liked the yarn shop, and noticed some Neil Young music playing there as I browsed. The woman on her cell phone in the gallery never even looked up as we entered or left, and the guy in the basement bookstore was playing (I kid you not) a Celtic Woman CD. It was a long, narrow, damp basement, anyway, and that music pushed me right out the door, believe me.
I liked the antique shop a lot. Two storefronts next to each other had been joined together, and the basement was full of nooks and crannies with nifty things to look at. Ben and I found a room that was full of postcards (!) and y'all know how we feel about that. One small problem, though, the speaker above our heads was blasting "Doe, a deer" or whatever the hell that song is called from The Sound of Music soundtrack. Again, I felt poked right out of there. Play music I like or don't play music at all, for god's sake. The service was pretty bad in the restaurant where we had lunch, but Ben overheard one of the wait staff saying they had just opened. So, okay. The food was good, anyway.
Today we drove over to Fred Fuller Park, and hiked the Hike and Bike along the Cuyahoga River. Once we got past the water treatment plant, it was a pretty scenic walk. We saw so many birds! Ducks and Canada geese, cardinals and chickadees, red-bellied woodpeckers, with their bright-red heads, and for the first time ever, I saw a kingfisher. As much fun as seeing the birds was hearing them. I don't realize how much I have missed the birdcalls all winter long until I start hearing them again in the spring. That's right, I said it - spring. I just feel optimistic about that. And I never feel that way in February.