I knew Old Man Winter had not forgotten us. The fluctuating tease of spring over the last weeks was too early to pack up the winter clothes, lubricate and store the snow blower, and start getting the garden tools ready.
Snow and cold came in yesterday like an unwelcomed moocher Uncle who stays too long defying the proven three-days-for-fish-and-relatives axiom. While we did not get nailed to the extent the east coast did, it’s still cold as a witches-you-know-what and messy enough to be the bad cousin of postcard-picture-worthy winter wonderland.
Seasons are part of what I love about living in the midwest. The renewal of spring, the enthusiasm of summer, the settling in of autumn, and the reflective mantra of winter – all of these provide variety through the year and if one is tuning to nature and body, we adapt accordingly to each season’s best benefits. When these naturally paced transitions are messed with (thank you Mr. Global Warming) it throws everything off. Last year’s odd spring-to-summer shift messed with my vegetable garden and little grew correctly or predictably, despite following the cardinal rule (in my neck of the woods) to wait until after the traditional last frost after Mother’s Day to plant and wait for bountiful vegetable crops.
Last year, as was this year, I ran the snowblower once (and that was guilt-driven from not using, not need). The year before that it seemed every week I was clearing paths down the sidewalk for school kids and negotiating my then pothole-riddled concrete driveway for car access. Last year finally also celebrated the arrival of a new asphalt driveway whose extra benefit comes via blackness and simple solar science. For years I’d feign envy over my neighbors almost-self-clearing asphalt driveway. I yearned for my drive to be self-clearing, too, and last year my yearning bore fruit: except that was the Year of the Wimpy Winter. I kept my dissapointment to myself since few around me would think me sane for wishing for snow, snow, and more snow.
I remember my first snow year with the blower and my keen interest in clearing everything edge-to-edge. A few heavier storms into that season and soon I was content as a squirrel in a warm, winter’s nest when I accepted the rationale that I only needed to clear a path down the sidewalk, and only one side of the drive for my one car.
As this year’s season of snow winds down, I’m not wishing for more opportunities to bundle up like an eskimo to clear snow. I’m content if we let this one go in the record books and we ease into the ever-anticipated green spring. After all, the flowers, squirrels and birds out in force the last few weeks surely know more than I on seasonal timing, and they all seem to believe spring has sprung, or will soon. Before long, it will be time to summerize the snow blower and prep the lawn mower for it’s time in the sun.