I know it happens at some point every winter, but this year's early sudden thaw has made us all feel a little better in some respects. No, not our coughs and colds, but rather those days, even those brief and precious moments when the sunshine seems less watery, the ice on the driveway disappears, and it is possible to walk the dogs without looking like an overloaded coat-rack (with hat.) And as we sip our coffee, listen to the melt-water running through the gutters, watch the cardinal feeding, naturally we feel a gradual sense of improvement. After the constant freeze of late we all deserve a break, and so we award ourselves a small one, and the countryside comes back to life a little bit.
I'm not suggesting that there are lambs gamboling in the luscious meadows just yet, but there are many signs that, if not pointing to the end of winter, remind us that the wheel of nature continues to turn at its own pace. They are cleaning up the dead growth on the vines at Wolffer in Sagaponack; contracts arrive from irrigation companies reminding us that the heat of summer is just around the corner (yeah, really!); The Home Depot, and I have this on good authority, are building their greenhouses for early season display; and Eric has been digging in his garden. Now this last piece of the almanac is pure rumor at the moment, for there was but the mention of such a possibility last weekend. We really must have a glass of wine this week, and foolishly toast the expectations of springtime. Foolish in the extreme. For does anyone remember Presidents' Day 2003? And the twenty-two inches of snow? I thought not!