By Ruth Clagan, from the Clock Shop Mystery series by Julianne Holmes
The first warm days in March flirt with me, promising sunny days ahead. But they are a tease, usually followed by snow and sleet. I forge ahead, strong in my belief that winter will end at some point. There are days I lose hope, but time marches on.
April is particularly cruel. The days get longer, and the sun is brighter. The snow starts to melt. For a day, maybe two, a coat is optional. Then a hot day comes. Not warm, hot. Sweat rolling down your back, short wearing, turn-on-the-fans hot. It is glorious. Moira and I paint our toenails, convinced that sandal weather is finally here. Comforters are replaced with summer throws. Wool sweaters are put back in the cedar closet. The winter coat is sent to the dry cleaners. Screens are put halfway down in the windows.
And then April breaks my heart. Tonight it is 39 degrees. Thirty. Nine. Degrees. I am not prepared for this breakup with spring. I zip my lining back into my trench coat. Double check that I have gloves in my pockets. I put an extra blanket back on the bed. The windows are closed again. Wool hats and scarves stay put away, but lighter knits are redeployed. I refuse to turn the heat back on, but nights like tonight I am tempted. Sorely tempted.
If spring is defined as a prolonged stretch of warm weather, it hasn't arrived in Orchard yet. We're two thirds of the way through April.
I may have to hold out for May. May hasn't let me down yet. Spring may only last a few days, but I'm waiting. In the meantime, I'm sleeping with socks and a sweatshirt on. As long as I can't see my breath, spring is settling in.