Friday, March 16, 2012

Great Friday: Comin' Up Sevens

It's not quite St. Patrick's Day, but the luck of the Irish seemed to be with me today. When I woke up this morning, I had no idea what a great day was in store. Expectations were high, this being a Friday and all, but the day just kept getting better.

Lunchtime at the office consisted of free pizza and watching March Madness on the giant conference room projector, an annual tradition in my division at work.  Did I ever mention how much I enjoy free pizza? And this was no slouch--when I walked into the conference room, there was a stack of at least twenty-five Papa John's pizzas, several of which were heavily topped with a variety of delicious dead animals.

As if the day wasn't already going well, as the pizza feast wound down, the VP of finance for the division (my boss's boss's boss) mentioned what a beautiful day it was outside and that, if our schedules allowed it, she wouldn't object to seeing people leave the office a little early today--a roundabout way of saying, "feel free to leave right after lunch."

I headed back to my desk and an email with the subject "Nice day outside..." showed up in my inbox.  The message was from the finance director (my boss's boss), and the email read, "March days like this come around very infrequently.  If you can get out early today while getting done what needs to happen, consider it a free ½ day vacation.  Have a great weekend!"  

I had some meetings late in the afternoon that I couldn't reschedule, so I couldn't take full advantage of the spectacular opportunity. What an unusual twist of fate...if you'd asked me a few weeks ago how a mid-March afternoon would play out, I would have conjured a guess that looked something like this: frigid temperatures, senior leadership telling me I needed to work late, and me trying to sneak out in the middle of the afternoon.  Yet today's arrival brought a serious of shocking opposites: temperatures in the upper 70s, finance leaders urging me to take the afternoon off, and me deciding to stay in the office a few more hours. 

What a delightfully unexpected day.  I didn't leave as early as I could have, but just knowing that I had permission to walk out whenever I felt like it made it much more tolerable to be indoors on a record-breaking, gorgeous day. And what an amazing stretch of March weather it's been.  When most people think about lucky sevens, they picture this:

A gambling windfall is great, but to me, these sevens are worth more than any Vegas jackpot:

Is this really Minnesota in mid-March?  Every single day on the five day forecast has a seven in it!  Yes, next Tuesday's high is technically in the upper sixties, but that's still a darn good temperature, and the second digit is a seven.  At this time of year, I'd be thankful to see those low temperatures as highs...

I was able to leave work a little early and stopped to pick up some groceries on the way home.  The good luck streak continued--in the parking lot, I received visual confirmation that there are, in fact, still cars on the road that are in worse shape than mine--always a welcome reminder, though I'll admit I'm jealous of the convenience that must come with having the option of unlocking the car door by reaching through the side of the vehicle.

The temperature certainly felt like summer, and the skies jumped on the summer bandwagon as well--Minnesota's first thunderheads of the spring made an appearance:

I returned home and threw open the windows and patio door to bask in the warmth.  The view from the patio continues to decrease in depressiveness--the remaining swatches of white evil quickly dwindle away to nothingness in the unseasonable warmth:

Today also marked my first outdoor run in many months.  For some odd reason, this particular run felt very unusual...but in a good way.  As I stretched out afterward, I realized that I'd forgotten what it's like to spend that much time outside without painful chapping and windburn.

I could get used to I finish this post, it's 11PM, the patio door is wide open, and it's still 65°outside.  And I just can't stop I'll pretend to be completely ignorant of the fact that I live in Minnesota, and there's at least a 50% chance that a major blizzard will hit sometime in next six weeks before I can start to expect this kind of weather every day.

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