The Winter of My Discontent

Thank heavens I didn’t cancel my subscription to the local newspaper–something I keep thinking I should do because I can’t seem to keep up with the reading of it. One day this week I read the most welcome news headline I’ve seen in a long time: Spring Hasn’t Sprung. And thank the heavens, the universe, the stars, and all celestial bodies and beings, again. I needed to see this.

Fairly early on in my life I realized that winter of the northeastern sort and I didn’t agree–too much snow and cold. So I removed myself from that and went to Atlanta, and that pretty much solved that problem. When I was ready to move from Atlanta, I knew I had to choose carefully to avoid slipping back into the snow and ice, while still maintaining a sense of seasons–Florida would never do.

Finally, I settled on the West Coast–not too far south or too far north, so pretty much right in the middle, which landed me in Northern California. Winters here are pretty much like they are in Georgia–sometimes cold and wet, sometimes gloriously sunny and mild. But here there’s one big difference I hadn’t counted on.

Here the grass turns green in winter and brown in summer, so it’s the polar opposite from what happens in the East. I had no idea that this would have an effect on me, but it does. Every time we have a nice day in the so-called winter, or period of nice days, as we’ve had recently, my subconscious must think it’s spring and I should be outside getting things done in the garden–even if it’s “only” January…or February…or now, March. The grass is green and the sun is warm, and that to me is Spring.

Psychologically it becomes impossible for me to relax without the comforting and liberating thought that nothing can be done, at least outside, which is something only gray, cold weather can bring, so might as well stay inside and read a good book. Instead I fritter away time doing what I can’t even recall at the end of a day. With not being able to contentedly stay inside while the sun is out (this I blame on my northeastern upbringing since there seeing the sun is always a not-to-be-missed event), I literally cannot even sit down to read a newspaper, forget a book. Latent illiteracy could be the end product of this situation. That, or bankruptcy, since my restlessness inevitably leads me on a goose chase for some obscure ‘necessity’ that then exposes me to the endless allure of the market place, and I end up buying irresistible whatevers that I would never even have known existed had I stayed home and read those books.

Call it The Winter of My Discontent. And yet I feel fairly wimpy to be voicing such a complaint, especially when I consider the alternatives for one, and for another, all of the real problems in the world, which really make this one so insipid and pathetic in comparison.

Anyway, I have been feeling remiss for letting the garden languish in last year’s dead aftermath, and also that I should get to the planting–even though it is “only March.” In Atlanta March was considered too early to do anything of substance in the garden, but here in California I feel like I’m already behind.

After nearly a week of very spring-like temperatures and increasing light that’s starting to give a summer feel to the mostly still cool temperatures, I am taking comfort in the weather forecast for this weekend–“cooler and some rain.” I do pray that is what happens.

The books are stacked, the comforter’s on the couch, and now all I need are some clouds, preferably accompanied by some rain, and maybe, just maybe I’ll get to experience that cozy feeling that’s been so elusive. The other option would be to catch a flight to the northeast where my friends in Vermont and New York State are reporting every form of dismal weather one could conjure up–rain, snow, sleet, ice, and plenty of darkness. Who would have thought I would ever be craving that?

Wait a minute–the news is on and the weather forecast has changed–no more rain on the way, just sun, sun, sun and warm, warm, warm. There go my reading plans, unless I can get to Vermont in a hurry, which at this late date, I doubt. Wonder if Seattle would do? At least it’s closer.

If this forecast is right, I guess I will officially give up on any more ‘winter’ weather here. To compound the problem, we’re going on to Daylight Saving Time this weekend–three weeks earlier than usual–they say it’s to save energy. I have yet to figure that one out, but I’ll just chalk it up to one more thing adding to The Winter of My Discontent.

And as for that newspaper headline that had me cheering..the one about “Spring Hasn’t Sprung”…it was obviously a lie.

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