Thursday, April 20, 2017

New England Spring

By Ruth Clagan, from the Clock Shop Mystery series by Julianne Holmes

Spring in New England is a fickle master of my emotions. I can ignore warm days in February, knowing that they are a gift I need to savor. I know they aren't here to stay, that the water will turn back to ice, that layers of clothes are still my future.
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.


  1. Ruth definitely has it right: Spring can be a tease. It certainly is here in Colorado. Those who know it best say we're not really in the clear until the end of May, and right now, we're under a winter weather advisory with snow in the forecast for tomorrow. Ruth is made of stronger stuff than I am -- we haven't turned the heat off...

  2. Snow?? Hang in there. BTW, Ruth (and I) are too stubborn to turn the heat on. But we are also freezing.

  3. We have just the opposite here in south Louisiana. We had one night in December with temps right below freezing. I never wore a winter coat the past winter. We have had nice spring like temperatures for week. But, pretty soon it will get HOT again, and stay that way until October.