By Bruce Stambaugh
Spring has arrived, finally. Didn’t we say the same thing last year at this time?
A year ago after a long, cold, snowy winter, we looked forward to spring’s promise. It was long in coming.
Well, here we are a year later, virtually in the same situation. We’ve endured an even more brutal winter with record-breaking extreme temperatures, dangerous wind chills, and snowstorm after snowstorm.
East of the Mississippi River, it was a winter of biblical proportions. Where three or more gathered, complaints, exasperations, and unmentionable utterances about the lousy weather could be heard far and wide, even in church.
Schools closed or delayed opening for a multitude of reasons a multitude of times. Local businesses suffered financially.
Even when it wasn’t snowing, the long string of gray days coupled with the dark, frigid ones weighed heavy on people’s spirits. It got so bad that rumors circulated in the statehouse that the all-knowing and all-seeing state legislature was ready to adopt a new motto for Ohio. “I can’t take it anymore” had its second committee reading when Old Man Winter’s grip finally loosened.
Thanks to the second consecutive polar vortex, snow, ice, cold and stinging winds affected folks not used to such stuff. Winter reached far into the southeastern United States.
Snowbirds got their feathers frosted a time or two. Wind chill advisories reached all the way to the southern tip of Florida. Even Key West wasn’t spared.
With the air temperature in the 40s and the winds blowing off of the ocean at gale force, it was cold. Floridians aren’t asking for or expecting any sympathy cards, however.
It is prudent to focus on the passing of the vernal equinox and hope upon hope that the spring weather of 2014 will not repeat this year. My farmer friends need no reminder.
Spring a year ago lasted as long as the frigid winter had. Fields were unapproachable, and crops couldn’t be planted on schedule, not even by horse drawn machinery.
The first cutting of hay for some farmers didn’t happen until early June. I think that was when the last of the snowplow glacial piles finally melted. That’s how cold and wet April and May were a year ago.
Let’s hope that there is no replication of that weather pattern this year. Everywhere this winter’s weather pounded, good people are ready for a regular, normal springtime. Nobody can blame them.
It’s nice to see sunrises and sunsets straight east and west morning and evening. I’ll enjoy their slow inch north, and hope that clouds, precipitation, and cold fronts don’t weaken the sun’s warming influence.
Spring will arrive. Forsythias and azaleas have already reached their peak where frost and ice briefly ruled in the south. Crocuses have already bloomed in southern Ohio. Our turn will come.
I’ll keep my excitement subdued when the buttery daffodils trumpet their glory. I have too many memories of enjoying their sunny spirit one day, and watching them droop from the weight of heavy, wet snow the next.
I hope that doesn’t happen again this year. I also hope that spring behaves itself and brings us the weather we should get.
I realize that severe thunderstorms, hail, lightning, tornadoes, frost and flooding are all part of that package. I also know that daylight will linger longer, and temperatures will gradually warm to near normal.
To get there, however, we’ll simply have to be patient and hope that fairer weather will prevail.
© Bruce Stambaugh 2015