Congratulations, everyone. Spring starts today. We made it.
To regions that measure their snowfall in feet and place their annual road-salt order by the tanker ship, sounding a collective sigh of relief over a few inches might seem like Southern hyperbole.
But for us, this has been a winter of epic proportions. In Dixie, we're used to Januarys and Februarys with the kind of mild temperatures that make you want to record the weather reports and send them up North, maybe with a smug note attached for good measure.
We're not used to polar vortexes and bitter wind chills, not to mention having to abandon our cars on the highway so we can hightail it to safety. That stuff is for "The Walking Dead" and Packers games, not cities like Raleigh and Chattanooga.
Southerners aren't built for that kind of meteorology. The mere thought of ice tends to make our kitten calendars mew in protest.
But today, after months of seemingly never-ending, honest-to-God winter, spring finally has sprung.
Naturally, this being the South, there's every chance that we'll have a relapse, that cold weather will come back to sucker-punch us while we're scanning the hills for crocuses and airing out our grills. Or - equally likely - that summer will pounce a few months ahead of schedule and we'll be sweating and wistful for frost in a matter of weeks.
But for now, it's warm and the sun is out, so here's a playlist primer to help you celebrate the fact that Old Man Winter has shuffled off into grudging retirement.
n "Here Comes the Sun" by The Beatles - It's definitely been a long, cold, lonely winter. Cliche? Sure. Also true.
n "First of May" by Jonathan Coulton - The chorus is good-naturedly crude, but trust me, the spring shines just as bright on the gutter as on the picnic blanket.
n "Mr. Blue Sky" by Electric Light Orchestra / "Blue Skies" by Ella Fitzgerald - Take your pick. They're both fantastic songs about bidding farewell to the oppressive winter cloud cover that sets off many a person's seasonal affective disorder.
n "Soak Up the Sun" by Sheryl Crow - Yes, to enjoying sun, but if you choose to follow Ms. Crow's advice, yes to sunscreen, too. Safety first, folks.
Undoubtedly, you've put together your own list of spring songs. Don't keep your wisdom to yourself. Email me your suggestions.
And if you happen to read this and live above the Mason-Dixon, go ahead and send your hate mail. I'll reply when I've put on my sandals and packed up my quilts.
Contact Casey Phillips at cphillips@timesfree press.com or 423-757-6205. Follow him on Twitter at @PhillipsCTFP.