Yesterday, I made a mistake.

I googled the weather for our area.

I really shouldn’t have.

My eyes kinda’ bugged out when I saw this:

I know, I’ve said it before. Winter is tough. I work hard to get through it without complaining and becoming anxious. This winter? Not exactly the kind of winter that makes it easy. Snowfall amounts like I have never seen in my 30 years. And although I’d rather have pretty white blanketing the brown, um, I”m kinda’ over it.

I know that the normal thing to do would be to post pictures of my kids playing outside in it, and reveling in the novelty of snowbanks above their heads. But.

I am trying. So, this is what I will post instead.

It was sunny once. Warm. It stayed light until 9:00. We would go to Harkness, and let the kids run the beach, playing soccer and getting wet from the ocean’s spray. And then they would sit with towels wrapped around them, facing west, soaking up the warmth from a setting sun.

It was sunny once. And warm. And the flowers in our yard were quite happy about it. So was I.

It was summer. We found a new picnic spot not far from our house, next to a field full of lupines.

We rode bikes, and sat in the sun and drank Izzes.

Better yet? We ate watermelon. Lots of it. And I may have mentioned it before, but I reallyreallyreally like watermelon.

We went to the beach a lot. Rocky Neck, Harkness, Kennebunkport, Cape Cod. Cape Cod again. We were in our element, soaking up the warmth of the sun on our backs, finding hermit crabs, feeling the warmth of the sand.

There was sun and rippled sand. And warmth.

It was June and July and August. Three of the sweetest months of the year.

Joel went to Arizona. We went to the Snip for a picnic. It was warm.

We ate fresh, local, dripping-with-sweetness fruit. It was summer.

We found a wild blueberry patch, and picked with abandon, the sun squinting our eyes, the warmth making us rush to get to the shade. And it was wonderful.

Paul and I went to the Cape. We relaxed. Felt the warmth of the sun. Watched fireworks over the water. Rode bikes. It was sunny. Warm. Summertime.

It was July 4th. We went on a whale watch. It was so hot, you could breathe the humidity into your lungs. Hothot. Fourth of July steamy hot. And I loved it.

And then we went to the Cape again.

As ever, it didn’t disappoint.

I’m convincing myself that it did happen. I was there.

But how did we get from that to where we are in a few dozen weeks?

I love CT, I do. In the summer.

Now? Um, I’m trying. My feet are cold. Coldcold. Hands are cold. Hard-to-type cold.

And, I know the normal thing to do would be to show photos of the kids playing in the snow, throwing snowballs at each other (Yelling, “Oh, snowballs never hurt a man, Eve-lin. These Yankee snowballs, they ‘urt!”)

The normal thing would be to show the height of the snow, the wintry whiteness on our street.


It’s just..

I don’t…

I like the other pictures better.




A few. So that they can remember. Even if I don’t want to. Because, like Philippa Gordon, I would much rather shut out the unpleasant things in life.

I will post a few.

So that they can remember being able to climb right onto the roof, the snow piles were so high.

So they can remember the only time in their life when they had a snowball fight with shingles at their feet.

I’m doing this for them.

And for my grandchildren to see someday, when my children are parents, telling them tall-tales. They’ll have proof that it really happened once. Back in 2011. And their kids will laugh and roll their eyes and wonder what in the world their grandmother was doing keeping a blog.

Because of this. Because of memories. That’s what I’ll say.

This is our poor little house. Doesn’t she look sad and be-dripped and be-draggled? I think she is. I think she likes summer better, when flowers are at her feet and sun warms her brick exterior.

And though I am putting these pictures up for our kids, I can’t end that way. I can’t end with those.

Because, I’ll admit. I’m doing this for me, too:

It’s what keeps me sane. And hopeful.

It’s what gets me through the winter. Burpee. And White Flower Farm. Swan Island Dahlias. Carolyne Roehm’s Summer Notebook. Thoreau’s Cape Cod…

They are what keep me dreaming.

Some may call it armchair-gardening, flipping through seed-catalogs.

I call it keeping a girl sane.

… They keep me hoping for long days, for bright sunlight. When we can go for picnics and run down to the beach. When we can go raspberry picking at my mother-in-law’s, her telling us to take all we want, the kids racing down the row as they squish berries in their mouth. (Yes, I do have the best mother-in-law ever. You should see her garden. It’s like an all-you-can-pick oasis.)

I have to dream. Because the title of this post is meant to be two-fold. I am trying, yes. Trying. Right now it’s not only a verb; it’s this winter’s adjective.

I know summer will come. We will again go to the Cape, and drive its narrow streets, the ocean coming at us from both bay and Atlantic. We will feel the warmth of the sand, see the beauty of open sky, and soak in the expanse of stars at night. We will breathe in the heat, and walk its sloping dunes, and soak up every moment. In the words of Thoreau, we will stand on its shores and put all of America behind us.

Summer will come.

It will happen again.


I hope.


January 27, 2011 - 2:06 pm

Sara Jane - Thanks for the reminder that summer is coming and that this snow won’t be here in July. Reading your blog every day helps us all get through the winter. Thank you.

January 27, 2011 - 2:34 pm

Cheryl - All the summer stuff looks great, but unlike my daughter, I am thoroughly enjoying this also!! Those kids will remember the “on the roof event” for many years to come. I am glad they are having so much fun!!

January 27, 2011 - 3:26 pm

Jill S - AHHHH…thanks for the taste of summer. Jeff is in Australia where it was over 100 yesterday. Maybe I’m a little envious. Looks like Joel wouldn’t need Jeff to lift him on the roof for his frisbee this time!

January 27, 2011 - 5:21 pm

Kayla - Your blog keeps me sane, once again. I had just come in from shoveling out my car for class tomorrow, completely grumpy and cold and miserable, and when I read this, you took me right back to summer and put a huge smile on my face again! I CAN’T WAIT to have those long, hot days back. Thank you for the reminder!
(P.S.–Miss you guys!!)

January 27, 2011 - 5:58 pm

Julie - Thank you so much for the wonderful reminder that summer will once again come! While I don’t have much to complain about here (with our piddly 6 or so inches of snow) I am still ready for the warmth of the sun. However, when the humidity of the summer comes and we are all complaining from the heat, we may need you to repost the snowy pictures! :o)

January 27, 2011 - 6:55 pm

Beth - I have never posted a comment on your Blog… but I had to on this one. As much as I love the warm summer sun, I also love Winter. I have never in my life seen so much snow either… I WISH I was out there. I LOVE snow, and can only imagine the fun I could be having with the kids. We have, maybe an inch. Thanks for sharing, even though it was painful=)

January 27, 2011 - 7:42 pm

Amanda - I had this funny deja vu when I was reading this post…I recall a similar post last winter :) I’m actually kind of liking the snow, as long as I don’t have to drive in it too much!

January 27, 2011 - 7:46 pm

Sara - Wow! That’s a lot of snow! Cannot imagine! So now probably would not be a good time to tell you that it was sunny and 55 in Oregon today?! :-)

January 27, 2011 - 8:08 pm

Betsy - @ Beth: We’d love to have you here, too! :) ‘Glad you stopped by to comment and give me some perspective…
@ Amanda: You made me laugh! I don’t even remember a post like this one- I’ll have to go back and see. Must be a pattern with me!
@ Sara: And here I thought you were my friend! 55 degrees sounds like a lovely dream…
@ Kayla: Miss u too! We need to get together for lunch or something!

January 27, 2011 - 8:42 pm

Karen - My kids liked seeing the pictures of your kids climbing up and jumping off the roof.
We’d have to get more snow for them to be able to do that at our house!

January 28, 2011 - 7:21 am

Bethany - Betz you are so funny! The pictures of the kids on the roof….thumbs up!

January 28, 2011 - 9:43 am

Carla - Betsy you make me laugh!! I’m looking forward to my kids being able to go out in snow like this. This year it’s just too deep, I think over Adrienne’s head by now! Have you tried Alpaca socks yet? I hear that Cindy Garrow’s are amazing for cold feet.

January 28, 2011 - 9:47 am

Vicki - What a big, beautiful, fabulous post. The pictures…your words…I loved it all!

January 28, 2011 - 10:29 am

Betsy - @Carla: The snow is definitely over Adrienne’s head- close to enveloping our Nora, too! :) As far as the alpaca socks, I need to have a conversation with Cindy, I think! I didn’t know they even had them!

January 28, 2011 - 2:13 pm

Cheryl - When your felted wool slippers come from Lithuania, you will once again have warm feet!

January 28, 2011 - 3:09 pm

Betsy - @ Cheryl: Sounds good to me! :)

January 28, 2011 - 4:03 pm

Naomi - What a surprise as I read this!

January 30, 2011 - 8:14 am

Jeff - oooh, I wish you wouldn’t do that, you are making me so jealous! It was 40 degrees Celsius after church in Melbourne this afternoon, and I just couldn’t get cool enough… (just do the math, Joel – 40*9/5+32…) My wife knows I am NOT joking when I say I would love to be in your shoes this winter! Not to worry, I just got an e-mail that said 6-8, maybe 10, inches are headed towards Minnesota. I just hope I can get home in time to enjoy it! I did enjoy the memories, though, too…

January 30, 2011 - 8:06 pm

Amy - Not sure exactly how I came across your blog- but so glad I did! Your pictures are gorgeous, I just can’t get enough. These pictures of the kids in the snow is so cool but I must admit the garden ones have be dreaming of warmer, sunny days. Thanks for that little bright spot in my evening!

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