Minneapolis spring

It was mid-April, and it was snowing. Y and I were driving to meet some friends at a bar, when he said it:

"LOOK! A leaf!"

I whipped my head around. It had been winter for months. The last time I'd seen any green that wasn't a pine tree or my favorite scarf was probably August. 

In that moment, the thought of seeing a leaf seemed life changing.

"WHERE?!" I asked. It was lucky I wasn't driving, or we would no longer have been on the road.

Y pointed to the car in front of us and glanced at me like I was crazy. "Right in front of us? A Nissan Leaf?"

What a tease.

It was at least 3 weeks after that moment that we did see spring's first leaf. But here's the thing I never knew about spring: when it happens, it happens fast. 

Not two days after our first warm day, tulips popped up and the trees turned bright, almost neon, green. Having lived my entire life in a place where warm was a year round thing, I always kind of assumed that trees were constantly working on growing; when the first flower blooms in Louisiana it's after weeks of warm weather. So when things went from snow-covered to technicolor in less than a week, my reaction was basically child-like awe.

After the tulips died, lilacs bloomed and the entire city smelled amazing. Vaguely, it reminded me of those few late spring days in Louisiana when the entire state was bathed in the scent of giant white magnolias on waxy green leaves. 

But I said vaguely. This is because while everyone talks about the sweet scent of magnolias, what they don't tell you is that after the perfume quickly fades away, another smell takes over the deep south for the rest of the summer: 

The smell of hot garbage. 

In contrast, I know from last year that summer in Minneapolis smells like barbecues, bonfires and bug spray. 

That smell wins.

Anyway, once the lilacs fell, covering the sidewalks with....wait for it... PURPLE RAIN, peonies took over my neighborhood.

Fun fact: before a few weeks ago, I had never seen a peony in real life. All I knew about them was that they were the wedding flower that I couldn't afford  -- every theknot.com member's dream bouquet. So when my lower-middle class neighborhood became a hotbed of peonies, well, I was confused. Why did my neighbor's lawn --which had never been mowed and is home to twelve plastic donkey statues -- suddenly look like an issue of Martha Stewart Weddings? Why aren't people snipping these flowers in the dead of night and selling them in underground wedding markets? 

Before I got the chance to act on that brilliant plan, the peonies ran their course and roses began taking their place -- along with a million other UFOs (unidentified flowering objects). 

You would never in a million years guess this place was covered in snow less than two months ago. 

Or maybe you would, if you knew anything about seasons (unlike this girl).