Long winters are not a new experience. There is a picture taken of me when I was five or six, sitting on top of a snowbank on my birthday…which is May 6.
I believe people who live in rural areas are more attuned to the fluctuations of the weather. We notice when the geese come (or leave), when the first crocus peeks through (and often gets snowed upon). We take note when the ice goes out and when threatening clouds come up.
And of course there are the animal babies that are a central indication of spring.
People who live in large cities miss out on so many weather-related aspects of life. Sometimes that may be a good thing, sometimes not.
Our long, long winter this year has really goofed up my normal spring plans. I generally make a pass through the house every weekend…dusting, vacuuming, etc. But I usually do my “spring cleaning” room by room…in the spring. When I refer to spring, I generally mean late March through mid April or so. That then frees me up for outside stuff by May.
Because I don’t have quite the stamina I once had, and I dislike climbing on ladders, I clean a room at a time, ie, this weekend the kitchen, next weekend the living room, etc.
But this year has not cooperated. Cleaning means washing curtains, rugs, bedding. But could I hang any of those items on the line when a snowbank was under the clothesline? I also want to shampoo carpets. Does it make sense to go to all that work when mud/snow is still being tracked in? It isn’t logical to wash windows when they’re being splattered by snow, slush, etc.
I couldn’t really get into cleaning out closets…anything that needs to be taken to the garbage or the car (for giving away) isn’t a pleasant idea when I had to slop through the snow and mud.
So certainly March, and most of April just passed by, as snow and ice continued to visit us, followed by mud—then some more snow. Instead of worrying about doing a paint touchup or buying carpet shampoo, I was sprinkling ice-melt and praying I could get out of my snow-filled driveway to get to work.
South Dakota didn’t disappoint us this year as “the land of infinite variety.” On any given day, there was always the aspect of eeni-meeni-miney-mo. It might snow, but then again, the sun might come out. The wind might come up in the night, but the thermometer isn’t supposed to go too low….
And how does one figure out how to dress? The morning might be sunny, no wind. Good day to wear a light jacket. By 2:30, the temperature has dropped, and the snow is blowing sideways.
The year my daughter was born, we received close to 100 inches of snow. Schools were closed for days on end. It truly was a never-ending winter. Then when it did finally warm up, the entire countryside around Brookings was flooded. I remember hearing about some farmers who became so depressed they resorted to suicide.
Now, with any luck, it looks like we may be into spring/summer mode that will last. However, now I need to get ruts (from snow removal) smoothed out, get mowing done, get my anticipated garden order planted, etc., etc. I might even get the car washed. I’m not thinking seriously about washing kitchen walls when (gasp!!) I can actually go outside without coat and boots.
I guess perhaps I can put off all the inside stuff until fall cleaning?
This is the way we clean the house, clean the house…