I’m a city gal, and this Sunday may give you a good idea why that’s true. Stop. Start. Stop. Start. Spring sputters. Rainy, cool, cloudy days are spliced with teasing warm temps and bright sun. It can be discouraging. Especially this morning when I awoke to a steady rain. Today, I busted my butt out of bed around 7am. “Busting my butt out of bed” is a phrase my husband finds amusing. To him it means leaping with extreme energy into the day. To me, it means resisting the temptation to close my eyes and rollover for 5 minutes more sleep.

At 9am, I joined my trainer at the gym. I find it’s easier doing circuit weight training than cardio at that hour of the day. Kate is 30, and we have one of those unique relationships on the continuum between mother/daughter and good friend. After 4+ years, we know each other pretty well. She’s sassy to me, and I sass back. Possessing equal amounts of contrariness has sustained our relationship. Neither of us are obtuse in our comments, we appreciate directness. Kate’s also an excellent, very dedicated personal trainer who has rehabbed me through two frozen shoulders, a broken foot, a broken toe and various knee and hip ailments. Under a layer of flab, I swear that I’m really quite fit and muscular. On the way home from the gym, I passed several geese and goslings—a sure sign that spring is here asdscf1281 traffic slows on the street to let them cross in this annual ritual. City drivers are much more respectful of our feathered friends than members of their own species.

At 1pm, we celebrated a friend’s 39th birthday at a local bowling alley. The disco ball turned, the pins glowed in different colors and the music was a hyper blast from the past three decades. Lots of groups seemed to be celebrating birthdays including 10 eight-year old boys next to us. I think their scores were higher than our four lanes added together, though I actually broke a 100! My husband remarked that it felt like being at a casino in Vegas where you lose all sense of time and place. When we left after chocolate cherry birthday cake and bowling two games, the rain had stopped and the temperature was up 20 degrees.

We got home, jumped into our running clothes and headed for the lakefront. The temperature was now in the upper 60s though it was still cloudy and overcast. In our secret parking place beneath an underpass, we encountered a woman trying to escape a man. She shouted for help and we rolled down our windows to tell him to let her run away. He brought her over to the car and told us that that they both were drunk as he reached into his bag and pulled out an empty bottle to prove his point. We told her to walk away to a more public place and they both walked off together as we watched. This scary situation made us think about difficult choices. Was she a lady in distress who truly needed our help? It’s a risk helping others, since this could have escalated in a very bad way—for all of us. Fortunately it didn’t.

My husband ran, I decided to saunter. The breeze was warm enough and made me feel as if I were swimming through the lukewarm water of a pool. Very gentle and caressing. Suddenly a jarring crack of thunder and big, cold raindrops plopped on my skin feeling like electric stings. Boats are starting to dot the harbor among the white buoys. The trees look as if they’ve been sprinkled with green popcorn—bursting a bit more each hour. I caught snippets of conversations as people biked and ran by me. A group of tourists zipped by on segways. In the background there was the sound of gulls and swallows, the dull roar of cars on the nearby drive, and the intermittent honking of fire engines trying to squeeze through traffic.

I broke off a small cedar branch because the smell caught my attention. I was inhaling everything. Just then I looked up and a man on a segway was in front of me. He had added a perch that stuck up and out to the side. And on that perch was a huge, colorful parrot hanging on for dear life, its wings spread and blown back, as they sped by.

The day’s not over yet. We just finished eating homemade tomato soup made with a few drops of vanilla that gives it a smooth mellow flavor, and my popovers popped – who could ask for more? I do love Sundays in the city even on a sputtering spring day.