Like a most unwanted guest, snow came to Maine yesterday. At the little house in the big woods, the snow fell on the patio tables and chairs, the unraked leaves, temple dog in the back garden, and my collection of toads and frogs in the front gardens as well as many other ornaments.
Clif and I were out before breakfast, before the snow really got started, and we hauled in the tables and chairs. How lonely the empty patio looks, and there will be no more nights in the backyard until next summer.
As we hustled to get the furniture in, I thought about this early snow and how common it has become for the East Coast to get funky weather the end of October and the beginning of November. A few years back, when Clif and I visited Dee in New York, there was a raging blizzard where the snow flew sideways as it pelted us. Folks in Connecticut lost their power for a week or more. A year or two later came Hurricane Sandy, which was even worse. Now this.
As we inched our way with the heavy table down the bulkhead steps, I said to Clif, “We better make plans to visit Dee the middle of October. That way, we can avoid the end of October “treat” that we seem to be getting. After all, once is a fluke. Twice is suspicious. Three times is a trend.”
“Good idea,” Clif agreed.
In the afternoon, I went back out to collect my frogs, the temple dog, the citronella torches, and various other garden ornaments. I threw snowballs for the dog, who loves the snow and would stay out with me as long as I wanted. By the time we came in, my hair was plastered to my head—no hats for me until I absolutely have to wear one—and the dog’s fur was wet, but not all the way through. His thick coat gives him ample protections from the cold and wet, which makes him a perfect northern dog.
When we came in, I made popcorn. Clif and I settled on the couch in the living room. The dog was between us, all the better to beg for popcorn, and the yellow cat was on my lamp. All was cozy, but the dark came so soon and with it the long night. We’ll adapt, of course, to the short, short days, but it always takes us at least a week to do so, to stop feeling so closed in.
This morning when I woke up, the sun was shining, and the meteorologist on MPBN promised that in most places the snow would melt by tomorrow. I am holding him to his word. There are leaves to rake, perennials to cut back, and a few more things to bring in. I can only hope that the true winter snow has enough sense to wait until the end of November or the first of December, the way it did in the old days, when I was young.
Snowy Day Pictures
And finally, Liam, dog of the north.