Going, Going But Not Quite Gone

In Maine, what a difference a week can make. The snow is nearly gone from the backyard, and we can see the garden and some of the patio. The area by the clothesline is free, and I long to start washing blankets so that I can hang them outside.

The backyard
The backyard


“Not quite yet,” Clif has advised. “The ground is still too soft, and the weight of the blankets will pull the line over.”

He is right, of course, and I’ll hold off washing the blankets for another few weeks. But now and then, I look longingly out the window at the line.

The waiting clothesline
The waiting clothesline


Yesterday, in an extreme case of Pushing the Season, Clif and I went outside and mucked around for a bit. I mean this literally. Our shoes left footprints in the mud, and where it was shady—this includes the whole front yard—we left footprints in snow that is as soft as a coconut slushy.

The front yard
The front yard


I had originally gone out to pick up sticks in the backyard. When you live in the woods, there are always a fair number that fall during the winter. I gather them and put them in a large garbage can, and we use them in the firepit in the summer.

The ground was really too soft for this chore, but Clif soon found another that was more appropriate. That is, removing usable wood that had been trimmed by the power company and left in an untidy clump in our front yard. While he was at it, he brought out the ladder and sawed some branches that were hanging too low. We saved what we could use, and the rest I hauled into the woods, where I made a little brush pile for the creatures who live there.

All in all, we spent a good couple of hours at our task, and when we were done, the front yard looked much better.  We came in with wet feet and a sense of accomplishment. I popped some popcorn and we settled in the living room to read and to eat our snack. The dog, who had been supervising outside, jumped on the couch so that he, too, could have some buttered popcorn. All was snug and cozy.

I’m going to conclude with a wood metaphor. Going out on a limb, I’m predicting that winter is over, and we are on the cusp of mud season, early spring in Maine. The days are ever so much longer, and yesterday I heard our resident cardinal singing his spring song.

Naturally, this winter I did not accomplish anywhere near as much as I wanted with my inside chores—the perpetual cleaning and decluttering.  Never mind! On bad days I will work on those projects. Right now, I am itching to be outside, even if it’s only to muck about in the yard.

Of course, Mother Nature might give us one her little surprise March snowstorms, which will cover all the bare ground and make everything even wetter and soggier. But the snow won’t last long.

Spring is edging her way in, and how welcome she is.

Snow dog
Snow dog

18 thoughts on “Going, Going But Not Quite Gone”

  1. I had the same thought about hanging out laundry. Funny how such a mundane task – the first load hung out- is a marker for us. Unfortunately we were supposed to get rain, which we have now, so I knew there wouldn’t be time enough for sheets to dry. One day there will be time!

    1. Such small delights are the stuff of life at the little house in the big woods 😉 You’re a bit ahead of us when it comes to hanging laundry. I’m thinking I’ll be to hang the laundry by the third week in March. We’ll see! If you have time, let me know when you are able to hang out your laundry for the first time of the season.

  2. I too love having laundry on the line 🙂 Your story reminded me of one from our Snowy Mountains (really just a bump on the ground compared to real mountains). It was a journal from Australia’s colonial past. A woman recalled hanging nappies on the line. They froze as they blew about and cut her face.

    Love Liam. Who’s looking after him while you’re away?

    1. A wonderful description of frozen laundry. Clif and I are dedicated homebodies and don’t really go away, except for little excursions where we know we’ll be back in time for Liam.

  3. I think you are right that winter is about done – hard to believe. We probably got a foot of snow total. I looked at the month-long forecast and other than this Thurs and Fri in the 30s, temps will be 40s-50s. Bye-bye snow. Sugaring will be done by next week. I think I might look into the possibility of an early sowing of my sweet peas and larkspur. I’m trying to adapt!!

    1. Wow, Eliza! Early indeed. You’re a bit ahead of us. By a few weeks at least.

    1. Many thanks! I’ll be interested in hearing about when spring comes to Winnipeg. So wonderful to read about other places in this big world. It’s one of the things I really like about blogging and the Internet.

    1. Winter still has a few tricks up its sleeves, but winter is on its way out.

    1. That’s right, Judy. Mucking through mud is always the first sign of spring in northern New England.

  4. yes, I understand your longing for washing those blankets…it is true Spring when you snuggle up at night and smell the spring sunshine in your blankets!!!

    1. Johanna, there’s nothing like the smell of blankets and sheets hung outside. Sheer bliss!

Comments are closed.