Press "Enter" to skip to content

Ahhhh, spring!

Okay, okay. I know two blazing afternoons — afternoons soaring all the way to 45 degrees — do not a change of seasons make. I know we’re not yet a month into winter. I know — with many sighs — that in the part of the world we don’t expect consistently friendly weather until mid-July.

But damn! This weekend’s been a blessed relief from what some wag called the Northwest’s Mini-Ice Age. Freezing at night, as per our usual lately, but with blessedly benign afternoons. Spring? Alas, no. But a fine substitute.

Besides, a girl can dream, can’t she?

And there are signs. Real signs.

Yesterday I washed dishes at noon. The window over the sink faces south and on the rare sunny days in winter, I have to close the mini-blinds to prevent scorched eyeballs. But yesterday the sun had risen higher in the sky. It was above the window. That’s something. Soon enough it will rise above the house.

When I finished the dishes and repaired to the sunroom for a break, there was my neighbor. Outside. In Bermuda shorts.

Best of all, we’re halfway to the re-opening of my favorite seasonal fish & chips wagon. It closes November 1 and I knew it was going to be a long, long winter when I found myself wondering, on November 11, how soon it would open again. The weather already sucked so relentlessly that I was shocked to realize the place had closed less than two weeks earlier. It opens in April and we’re past the halfway mark! There’s hope for spring, there really is.

Won’t be long now before the daffodils start poking up. Not long after that swampy sections of the woods will be redolent of skunk, thanks to their annual grand eruption of skunk cabbage. Strange, huge, stinking, mutant plants. Gorgeous, welcome, giant yellow flowers.

I know, I know. There’s a lot of winter still ahead. Even in this warmth, every still expanse of water remains crusted with ice. Unusual most years; the norm this season. On our afternoon walk, with the sun warming every surface it touched, Ava and I were able to stroll out and sit on a disused wharf along the river without worrying about slipping on wet moss or getting our fannies soaked from rain-sodden wood. Yet at the same I had to keep an eye on Ava, lest she plunge into a pond and fall through thin ice. (She did once, but fortunately in a shallow wetland. She was able just to walk out.)

In the sun, glorious. Every shady spot still gleams white.

I know some of you guys are a lot — a lot — colder. You laugh at my weather whines. But ice, snow, and freezing temperatures night after night (and often day after day) isn’t what we expect of the ocean-warmed Pacific lowlands. It’ll be so good to see the back of this winter. Glory hallelujah for this short break.


  1. MamaLiberty
    MamaLiberty January 16, 2017 5:45 am

    We are having an unusual warm period here too. I’m enjoying it, and anticipating spring like crazy. Just ordered some new seed yesterday. AMAZING what you can find at Amazon! 🙂

    Although the orchids are greatly satisfying, I’ve been moving into bonsai a little, and one of the seeds I ordered was for giant redwood trees. I’ve talked to other bonsai people for some time, and many think that the redwood tree is ideal for miniaturization. Seems counter intuitive, but the seed was not expensive and it will be very interesting to experiment with them.

    Counting the days until April, but we don’t have the last hard frost until about the end of May. 🙂

  2. Frank
    Frank January 16, 2017 6:44 am

    Warm days in winter – woooo hooooo !! 🙂

    Nine days ago (Saturday), here in the south-central US where I live, the morning low was 0 degrees. I walked around outside for about an hour to briefly test the little cold weather gear I have (for temps like 0 degrees) and the only thing that got cold was my face (do not have a full face mask yet). Four days later the afternoon high was ~74 degrees. A few days later it was ~32 degrees with freezing rain.

    The weather changes. The climate changes. It’s all part of nature and has been going on since the beginning of the planet and will go on until the end of the planet (the sun will expand and ‘absorb’ the Earth, finally exploding, but we have ‘a few years’ (millions, actually) before that happens – whew!).

    The ‘global warming’ wackos tell us it will be 4 degrees warmer in 100 years and we’re all going to die so we have to destroy our economy to stop it.

    Gosh, we had a 74 degree swing in four days … and I am still alive.

    Since some of you live in areas that get really cold on a regular basis can you recommend a brand of waterproof, insulated boots? Ones that last more than a year or two?

    For those of you ‘up north’ – stay warm! 🙂

  3. rochester_veteran
    rochester_veteran January 16, 2017 6:48 am

    So far, we’re having a mild winter thus far in Rochester, but even with mild winters, we don’t get much of a spring, like some areas get. It’s a transition season when we still get snow and it’s usually windy.

  4. Shel
    Shel January 16, 2017 7:31 am

    I am always struck by the simple and clear logic of Walter Williams’ writing (as I was by that of Thomas Sowell). Williams’ article on Global Warming is as straightforward and coherent as any I’ve seen. FWIW, his book Race and Economics makes just as clear a case that the best way for the government to help Blacks is to stay out of it.

  5. ellendra
    ellendra January 16, 2017 10:06 am

    “Since some of you live in areas that get really cold on a regular basis can you recommend a brand of waterproof, insulated boots? Ones that last more than a year or two?”

    Duluth Trading Company has some good ones, but a lot of them have sold out for the season already. It’s best to order those around September.

    Still, you can check. They do have a few sizes still in stock. If you use coupon code T16PC7, it’ll get you 20% off plus free shipping on orders of $75 or more.

  6. ExpatNJ
    ExpatNJ January 16, 2017 10:53 am

    I feel for ‘ya stuck in colder climates.

    I left the ‘Garbage’ State, and moved to the Deep South to run out the clock. Not trying to rub it in; but, it seems like it’s spring year-round for me now:

    – 70’s and no snow to shovel/drive in/deal with? Check.
    – Lower winter heat bills, and reasonable summer A/C bills? Double check.
    – I’m in shorts year round, and everyone thinks I’m crazy? Check mate!

    Maybe I’ll move even further south and spend time in Cuba or the Yucatan before I go toes-up …

    (Ever notice how Al ‘Global Warming’ Gore is nowhere to be found during the winter?)

  7. Desertrat
    Desertrat January 16, 2017 12:13 pm

    More mid-70s than “worster”, here in south Jawgia. Nice to look out and see the azaleas blooming.

  8. Scott
    Scott January 16, 2017 12:24 pm

    Low 60s here, and rainy..two weeks ago, single digit temps. Not all that unusual. Weather changes. Funny how that happens.

  9. Frank
    Frank January 16, 2017 5:04 pm

    All, thank you for the comments and links for warm winter boots, I really appreciate it! I can put up with cold weather until my feet get cold, then it *ucks big time. I have several pair of thick wool socks and some sock liners but no insulated boots for the really cold days.

    And a thank you for the link to the Walter Williams article on GW. I have several books by Williams and Thomas Sowell, all excellent.

    Stay warm!

Leave a Reply