04 March 2011

Wistful memories....

I grew up in an area of the country that has four distinct seasons; spring summer, fall and winter. What was that rhyme we used to say when we were kids? March comes in like a bear and goes out like a lamb? And April showers bring May flowers....

When I was a kid, I remember the snow starting to go away in March, and it got muddy. What fun the mud was! Mum hated it, though. We played marbles. March was a windy month, too. Dad would get us kites to fly or make them for us out of newspaper. He knew just how to make them right so they would fly. Crocus's would poke their tiny heads through the snow and remind us of what was to come.

April was a rainy month, but it was also time to get our forts and tree houses in order. Easter break from school was always a train ride into Boston to stay with the grandparents. Tulips and flowers were abundant in gardens along our street. All the neighbors would band together and yards would be raked, debris would be piled onto a trailer for a trip to the dump. Dad would seed the lawn, turn over the remnants of the the last years' garden, and Mum would let us help with the planting.

By May, the trees would be getting their leaves, tiny buds at first but growing bigger and stronger with each passing day. We could go out to play without jackets now. Mum washed and packed them away.

June was always a nice month if memory serves me. The only thing I truly remember about June was the anticipation of getting out of school. There was sandlot baseball and kick the can to play. We could stay outside until just after dark now, and the days were long.

July and August brought summer thunderstorms. The days were humid and steamy. Dad called them 'the dogs days of summer'. We could bicycle to the beach or go swimming in the brook. Try to stay cool however we could. There was no AC in the house.

We were back in school right after Labor Day and the weather seemed to change mysteriously. There seemed a dryness to the air, cooler mornings, and Indian summer came for a week or two. The Indian summer would be short lived, the winds would blow ushering in cooler temps. Jackets were brought out, shaken out, and tried on for size. The trees began their annual change to brilliant colors heralding the end of the season. What vivid reds, oranges, and yellows there were.

By October and November the leaves were gone from the trees, the rains and snow would come. Just before Thanksgiving, a dusting of snow and Dad would bring down the skis. He would spend some time every night resurfacing them in the basement. Our skis weren't the sleek fast skis of today, they were wooden heavy and fiberglass coated.

By Christmas everything was frozen and covered in snow, again. Ski passes for Gunstock Mountain Ski Area and the Gilford Ski Club came with Christmas. We would take lessons and ski every weekend and day off from school through February.

The change of seasons and equinox tells us (via the calender, too) when it's spring, summer, fall and winter. Have my eyes missed winter this year? Was there one? This is the desert. It's early March and it's 80+. This is winter? I think not. The early predecessor of things to come? Yup, hot, hot, and hotter?

Seriously, I really thought I'd adjust to having two seasons in the desert (comfy and hot). Apparently I haven't .... even after fifteen years.