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.
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.
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.