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.