, Newburyport, MA


March 16, 2012

A thunderous winter finale

I was about to call it a day during Tuesday's night's 11 o'clock news that Mitt Romney had come in third in the latest primary testings when a crash of thunder reminded me I had probably left my car windows open.

"This is still winter, and spring isn't until next Tuesday,'' I grumbled to myself, as I put my shoes back on, grabbed a hat and jacket, and did a quick step through the rain to the car.

I'd been right about the windows. Memory had served late, but it had served.

I can't say that for the snow shovel, however. I found it on the back seat floor, door to door where it had been since winter's last feeble attempt to make up for what there hadn't been for most of the winter. I had thought there'd be enough snow to shovel. What was there when it came didn't need shoveling; it just needed pushing..

There's usually a chemistry of the seasons that defines them better than the calendar, but this year's has been something for the record keepers to underline with red ink.

There was a massive runoff of snow melt last spring that was surprisingly orderly. Summer was indistinguishable from most summers, but autumn lacked the character we look forward to every year, and as for those hiccups of snow we have had this winter? Well ... they just weren't what they should have been.

We're New Englanders, and our season changes should be what they're supposed to be when the calendar says it's time for them to begin and when it's time to go.

This winter was anhistoric fizzle. I had paid to get the snowblower ready to blow snow, and there wasn't enough snow to blow.

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