‘Tis a topsy-turvy world I’m living in now. I look out my window and see robins searching the grass for food. It’s February, folks.
For forty-three years I lived in New England where things were predictable. We could count on snow in the winter, and plenty of it. We knew spring was coming by the crocuses peeking up through the snow in March or April. The first sighting of a robin was a big thrill because winter was finally over. Everyone’s eyes were glued to the yard hoping to see the first robin and give a big sigh of relief.
Thirty years ago I moved to San Diego, to get warm and stay warm, and discovered that robins were pretty much nonexistent in the arid desert conditions of southern California. Now we’re in North Carolina and I’ve learned where robins go when they fly out of New England. I am so not used to seeing robins in February. But I love the little critters for the hope of spring and warmth that they bring.
We moved to North Carolina to get closer to family, yet still be below the snow line. My question is: Who the heck moved the line? Monday, January 27, was a balmy sixty-five degrees here in Garner. The next day, the temperature dropped and that night we got close to six inches of snow! Wednesday morning we awoke to a world draped in white. Fred opened the front door and the door made half a snow angel on the white porch. He called to me, “Come see this.” I said, “No thanks, I’ve seen snow before.”
The city came to a standstill; schools were closed for four days. We were snowbound for the rest of the week. By day two, Fred swept the snow off the truck and attempted to drive the short distance to the mailbox where the mail had been sitting for two days. His truck slipped and slid on the road so he pulled back into the driveway, abandoning his quest to get the mail.
By Friday we were able to get out of the house, take a drive, albeit carefully, get the mail, and buy a push broom to clean off the front and back porches. However, by now the snow was frozen and we soon learned that sweeping didn’t work. Saturday the roads were much better, the weather had been above freezing for a while to allow for some thawing, so we scoured thrift shops for a snow shovel. We didn't want to pay a lot for a shovel we hoped to never use again. We found one for $5, came home, and Fred shoveled the walk in front of the steps. You might expect that he was out there in coat, boots, and gloves shoveling snow. But you’d be wrong. Being the native Californian that he is, he was outside shoveling snow in a pair of shorts and a short-sleeved shirt. He wouldn’t admit to being cold if his life depended on it.
Saturday night the rain poured down and by Sunday morning there was no sign we’d ever had snow. Everyone we meet tells us this is a most unusual winter in that it never gets this cold, or gets this much rain, and barely ever snows, certainly not this much. Either they’re all lying to make us feel better, or we picked one heck of a year to leave California.
By being snowed in, I did get to work on my novel, Willard Manor. I’ll be querying a publisher this week assuming some unforeseen calamity doesn’t happen (that has “never happened before”) and we lose power.
Today’s Quote: And now there came both mist and snow, and it grew wondrous cold. Samuel Taylor Coleridge, The Rime of the Ancient Mariner.