I was right when I said it would be an early winter. We had a historic snowstorm on October 31 that crippled the Northeast. Not Philadelphia, but close enough. My parents, only an hour north of the city, had no power for days; they had to huddle by their fireplace at night to keep warm. By day 3 of no electricity, they had resorted to cooking over the fire.
Of course, in the back of my mind I was equating early winter with bad winter. In August I knew that winter would strike hard and far sooner than anyone would reasonably expect in this part of the country; what I didn’t realize is that that would be the beginning and the end of it. This has been one of the mildest winters we’ve had in years, dull to the point of tears. You can see it on the manic faces of the local meteorologists who perk up every time the skies are cloudy to the west. They’ve promised us quite a few wintry events, but so far the only menacing thing that’s blown through town this winter is West Philly’s trash.
I’m pretty disappointed. Grown-up snow days are the best kind of snow days, but this year we had none. And it’s disorienting to be going headlong into spring without having had any kind of winter. The best winters are the ones that leave you desperate and longing for warmth and sunshine; by the time late July’s humidity has sapped your last strength you’re only just coming down from the Vitamin D high. A spring without winter is a like a celebration for a lover’s long-awaited return from an arduous journey where the lover’s arduous journey consisted of running down to the corner bodega for cigarettes and beer. Which is to say kinda pointless, really.
Ah well. Time to relinquish my desire to watch snow fall while snowbound, and time to start stocking up on SPF.