Long Time Coming

While this past winter may not have been the longest on record, it seems so, and who among us isn’t ready for spring, as belated as it may be.

We rejoice over finally being able to see the bare patches of brown leaves left over on the lawn from the fall, we don’t complain about the soggy mud that is replacing the treacherous ice patches in the driveway, and we smile when the temperature rises above freezing. Many of us even haul out a lawn chair and sit outside, however briefly, as that March sun shines down, although we still are bundled up in gloves and sweaters.

And while the flowering plants look a little out of place in the stores – where would we plant them? – their bright colors bring a promise of the change in weather that’s sure to come. After all, if you check out your forsythia bushes, those are buds that have formed, and that means the whites and browns of winter are going to be overwhelmed soon enough by the yellows of spring. We hope.

But it hardly has felt like spring, regardless of what the calendar says. We’ve had snow showers and cold rain and plenty of wind. Some days have been just plain dark. There may be sun in the forecast, but it’s been hard to keep the bright promise of springtime at the forefront in the midst of the non-stop sound of the furnace.

Never fear. If you can’t have the real thing outdoors, get in the mood of the season any way you can. Dust off the rakes and trowels so they’ll be ready. Pull out the garden catalog and plan what seeds to buy. Just a glimpse at the bright flowers ready for planting, the herbs sure to enhance your culinary efforts, and the vegetables for your kitchen garden will get you feeling like spring, even if the temperature says otherwise. Stop in at a nearby nursery for an even greater dose of summer dreaming.

To help get through the gloom, consider setting out a bird feeder or two where you can see them from indoors. You might get lucky and see the brilliant orange of a Baltimore Oriole, and that’s a sure cure for winter weather blues.

And if nothing else works, congratulate yourself on having gotten through an old fashioned, northern New England winter.

Those of us who call this area home know that blue skies and warm weather are just around the corner, and summer isn’t far behind. Right?

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