If you did it right, you are scrolling through this with sunscreen-coated fingers while sitting poolside, with one eye reading and the other trained on the cannonball contest your kids are putting on with that family from Minnesota you just met. I’ll gladly take that level of attention. Your absence makes my commute faster. Thank you. You and people just like you loaded up the car or boarded an overcrowded plane and got the heck out of here. I would have loved to get away, but I have to say, I am glad I didn’t leave. With the winter we just had, I wanted to stick around to see how things turned out – just as I would at an extra inning baseball game. I put the time in, so I see no sense leaving now. Let’s face it, we had an epic winter. It is a winter against which subsequent winters may be measured. (“may” because this could also be the beginning of the next ice age). We set or challenged several records for cold, snow, and, I don’t know, cold AND snow (also for sunny days, but no one will ever remember that). Through it all, I managed to log 645 running miles, nearly all of which I ran outside. I recently shared my cold -fighting fashion tips, but have, by now, shed most of those layers as temperatures have soared to my preferred running temperature range of 25-45. The true signs of spring are everywhere. During early mornings spent walking my dogs, I see bright green grass shoots pushing past melting piles of snow. It may not be hot out there, but the winter of 2014, as we knew it, is over. In true Chicago-style, on the day I am writing this, I saw the pairing of dirty snow in my yard melting and 70 degrees on my car’s thermometer. So, sure, while I am excited to get your out-of-office reply to this email, can’t wait to see your vacation photos adorn Facebook, and bet you will have a dandy story to tell of swimming with dolphins (and I’ll listen), I don’t want to miss the opportunity to feel temperatures in the 70’s and snow flurries in the same week. That, and I’m waiting by the phone for someone to call and mention your name referring me for a mortgage. Thank you for doing that.