During a long, painful wait on an el platform this morning, I was comforted by the thought that the worst is over. We have made it through the really brutal weather, and things will now be improving. The turning point, in fact, is today.

The temperature has already crawled from one degree at six this morning to four degrees at eight, to six degrees at 9 AM. By 2 PM it should be 20 degrees. Tomorrow’s predicted high is 32. Over the next ten days, the forecast highs are mostly in the 20s, with no subzero lows.

And today is January 29, which is practically February. Succinct February is always gone before we know it. So it’s a hop, skip, and a jump to spring, with summer close behind.

Won’t we appreciate spring and summer all the more after this trying winter? People who live in more moderate climates may take summer’s warmth for granted, but we will not.

I especially look forward to walking out the door again without the armor—the coat and hat and gloves and scarf and boots.

Yes, we still have some snow and wind chills to endure before winter surrenders. But the better days are ever closer. Pitchers and catchers report just over two weeks from now—February 13 for the Cubs, February 15 for the White Sox. That’s in Arizona, true, but it’s another harbinger of spring. Everything’s coming up roses, or so it’s best to think.