Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Hello, Spring

As anyone who reads this column even occasionally knows, I love winter. When others are lamenting the arrival of cold and snow in December – and its continuation after the winter holidays and beyond – I am hoping for more snow and enough cold to sustain good skiing.

After the stretch of warm, sunny days we had last week and into this one, though, it’s hard not to look forward to spring.

Last weekend featured two blue-bird days on the mountain. Sunday afternoon, after exploring some of Cannon’s finer spots for skiing and sightseeing with the group of 6- and 7-year-olds I help coach, I met up with my own kids and enjoyed the rare occasion of skiing with all three of them. (Yes, they now have to wait for Mom at the bottom most runs.) It was so warm that I stripped down to a t-shirt and vest. We eschewed the most crowded places on the mountain for long, sunny chairlift rides and laps of turning through perfectly soft, not-quite-slushy snow.

Once home, the kids swapped ski duds for shorts. There was front porch sitting and passing of the football, as well as their recent favorite driveway game – while they wait for the yard to melt out – wall ball off the last big snowbank in the shady (and muddy) corner of the driveway. We checked out the spiky shoots of the crocuses poking through the barely thawed dirt of the window garden, and we’re keeping an eye on the front garden, where we planted bulbs between the perennials last fall.

Even the dog, who embraces just about any kind of weather, has seemed happier than usual outside. She’s taken to lying in her favorite warm weather spots again and looks at us mournfully when we suggest it’s time to come in. If there’s sun to lie in, mud to get messy in, and a few remnant patches of snow for blissful rolling, she is a happy girl.

We weren’t, of course, the only ones soaking in the early spring goodness. Baselodge restrictions this year have brought the ski area tailgating game to a whole new level, and every parking lot at the mountain boasted mini grills, chairs and tables set up next to truck beds, and folks enjoying a variety of beverages. On the short drive home, we saw three bicyclists pedaling away, seemingly oblivious to the months-long pileup of road salt and sand along the road edges. People were out doing yard work or playing in the park or gathering with neighbors in driveways.

I’ve been around long enough to know that a couple of nice weeks in March does not mean spring is really here. I’m certain it will snow again before we get through April – probably the day after the snow tires come off my car. In the meantime, I’ll take all the t-shirt-skiing, front-porch-sitting, early-blooming-flowers, and gathering-together-in-the-sun days that come my way.

Original content published by Meghan McCarthy McPhaul. This essay appears as Meghan's March 25, 2021 Close to Home column in the Littleton Record. 

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