The long winter continues.
Another eight inches of snow yesterday morning, give or take three inches. (It could have been eleven inches. We’ve ceased measuring in late April.)
I am really OK with it. No need to offer condolences. We escaped to Florida earlier in the month, thereby easing Endless Winter Restlessness Syndrome.
I’m not sure the other locals are faring as well. One senses a certain madness in the flitting eyes of grocery shoppers. Alcohol sales are up. People tend not to make sense anymore. Just sayin’. The livin’ is not easy up here in Cabin Fever land.
In an earlier blog post I discussed the agonizing scenario of the wild animals who suffer tremendously from the extended winter. (What is it, five months now? Six months? We’ve lost count.)
We’re feeding “our” doe, the one who hangs around the house, vegetable and fruit scraps and carrots. Lots of carrots. Chris, Barry’s co-worker, gave him a large plastic yellow bag filled with carrots. Mini carrots and regular sprouting carrots. The bags expired in February. The deer doesn’t seem to mind. She chews and chews and chews and then her lean legs cut through the snow crust as she makes her way beneath a spruce tree to rest. She still runs when she sees us. How we wish she didn’t run.
I was thinking about Laura Ingalls Wilder book “The Long Winter”. How their prairie winter lasted forever one winter and the trains didn’t run to deliver their food. How the pioneers almost starved. How the children grew thin and frail like our doe. How challenging it must have been for early settlers to survive a long winter on last year’s beets and carrots and apples and dried venison.
How some people did not survive.
What a hardier stock these people must have been. They probably didn’t bitch about inconsequentials. They mustered the will to survive until May (or June) when snow finally melted and they could taste bitter wild greens and brew wintergreen tea and munch wildflowers.
I do know some of them went crazy in their snow-covered cabins–if they didn’t freeze–crazy with endless white, crazy with the way the spirit seems to shrivel and lose hope with never-ending snow, burrowing tighter within, shut doors, yet another fire.
Those who live in the Land of Endless Winter will recognize that short-sleeve moment–if it ever comes–when the heart begins to expand outwards and one remembers, truly remembers, what it’s like to open like a seedling sprouting green toward the shining sun of New Life.
But I dream.
The high school kids wonder if they’ll play golf or run track outside this year. We saw a picture on Facebook of some kids before Prom. Some of them are wearing heavy winter boots with their prom dresses. No kiddin’. (I’ll try to find the picture for you.)
I could have blogged about anything today–anything in the Universe–but couldn’t leave this theme of the Long Winter yet. I could have blogged about meeting a new friend yesterday afternoon, barrelling out of the heavy driveway snowy slush, praying not to get stuck. Could have blogged about how I taught her how to start a WordPress blog. Showed her some of the basics. Felt like an old pro, you know, one of the ancient blogging grandmothers, older than the oldest snowman, older than the oldest snow drift…
It’s still upon us, dear reader in your sunny southern locale, heck, maybe even in lower Michigan where bean fields lie underwater, rivers overflowing their spring banks. It’s one of those unusual years that people will talk about for years to come.
Do you remember the winter of 2013? they’ll ask. We’ll nod. Oh, yes, we’ll nod. We remember, we’ll say. We surely remember…
P.S. Barry says I can’t end this endless winter essay on a dismal note. He says I have to tell you. About the hopeful forecast. They’re predicting 65 degrees (18 C) by Sunday, cross their hearts and hope to die, stick a needle in their eye. (Just kiddin’. I didn’t mean to type that. Must have been some of that Cabin Fever madness.)