Some places, winter is an endurance sport; a grim, determined affair that tests inhabitants' steely resolve. (The pleasure some Northerners take in their winters reminds me of the pleasure some runners take in a marathon.) Its anthropomorphized persona is that of Old Man Winter, fearsome and flinty. But our winter is a devilish imp; its sport is the headgame. It likes to frak with our minds.
Thanksgiving day was balmy. I like balmy, but I remember commenting that a touch cooler would be nice: at least give us a chance to break out a light sweater or jacket for what is nominally a winter holiday. Cooler, huh? The next morning I decided to make the best of the temperate conditions and knock out some yard work. Load the girls in the car; off to the store for supples. Cold rain. No yardwork. Over the weekend, it turned nice again. This morning I stepped out onto my balcony shortly after six a.m. It was seventy-four degrees. A few minutes later, a ferocious wind was blowing the willow tree sideways, the temperature was dropping a degree a minute, and by seven, the city was once again soaked in a cold rain.Tonight's lows will be in the thirties.
This is only the beginning. We've got at least three more months of meteorological mayhem. We must steel our minds, refuse to let it break us, lest we become jumbled cowering messes begging for the return of summer's sweltering tedium. (Honestly, though, it's hopeless. I'm always gung-ho for summer by time it rolls around.)