Loving the Small Things in Life: Waiting for Ice-Out on the Patio

Clif and I are huge fans of the small things in life. While we appreciate big showy events as much as the next person, we both feel it’s the little things that jazz up our lives. There’s not a day that goes by that I’m not grateful for this attitude because let’s face it—most people’s lives are made up of small events, and if you don’t enjoy them, then this means that most days you’re just marking time.

For example, yesterday I wrote about my eager anticipation for being able to hang laundry outside for the first time this season. Readers, you can bet that when this joyous event occurs, it will be duly noted in this blog. I also wrote about mucking about in the yard, getting damp and cold, then coming in, settling in the living room, and having popcorn while reading. A simple but oh-so-good pleasure.

Another one of our many small pleasures is waiting for “ice-out” on the patio in our backyard. For this, a bit of a backstory is in order. We live in a part of central Maine that has many lakes and ponds, so ice-out—when the water is free and clear of ice—is a big event for the whole town. When the ice goes out on the lakes and ponds all depends on what kind of winter we’ve had. Last year, according to Maine’s Department of Agriculture, the ice didn’t go out on the Lower Narrows Pond until April 22. (Happy birthday, Shannon!) This year, if things continue the way they have, the ice could be out by the end of March. The DOA notes, “If the current weather pattern continues through March as it has all winter, Maine lakes may set new records for ‘early’ ice out on our lakes and ponds. Recently, we have had ‘early’ ice out during the spring of 2006, 2010, and 2012. It will be interesting to see if we break any century old records this year.”

As the lakes and ponds in central Maine go, so goes the patio at the little house in the big woods. Last year was a cold and very snow winter, and the date for ice-out on the patio was April 16, not all that different than it was for the Lower Narrows Pond, just down the road. This year, if the season progresses the way it has with record warmth and little snow, I expect the patio to be free and clear of ice by the end of March.

Then will come another event, another small thing, that Clif and I look forward to in early spring—bringing up the round patio table from down cellar. At first, we’ll just have tea on the patio, but as the season progresses, we’ll have supper on the patio as well. We’ll bring up the big rectangular table, and we’ll have friends over for wine, appetizers, grilled bread, grilled pizza, and homemade ice cream.

Stay tuned!

Patio, March 1, 2016
Patio, March 1, 2016


15 thoughts on “Loving the Small Things in Life: Waiting for Ice-Out on the Patio”

  1. Looks like you’ll have ice out by next week with the weather we’ve been having! Your photo reminded me of something I’d forgotten that I used to do in my younger days… I was so impatient to have all the snow gone that I’d break up and toss the chunks over the lawn to speed up the melting process! I’m much more patient these days – I can wait – lol!

    1. Eliza, I don’t know. I’m thinking more the middle or the end of March. This morning, we woke up to a snowy, slushy mess. In central Maine, March always has a few surprises up her sleeve.

  2. Ice out sounds like a big event to me. Your journal reveals a different world to mine – here we have outdoor furniture permanently in place and laundry on the line any day as long as it doesn’t rain. We don’t appreciate those small things enough because we are too lucky 🙂

    1. Mary, ice-out is a very big event in central Maine. One of the blessings of the internet is to become acquainted with different worlds. Yours sounds as different and as exotic to me as mine does to you.

    1. Wow! I’m impressed. Still a bit too icy and chilly to think about that in central Maine. But soon! When I step outside, I can almost hear the peepers calling from the little swampy swamp just up the road.

    1. That’s what I have come to believe about the small, everyday things. Those late-spring dinners will be coming soon.

  3. Here in South Jersey my aspirations are similar. I can’t wait until daylight savings time, when it is light earlier. Then I will put out my garden swing and garden furniture and have my morning coffee in the yard. The hummingbirds always join me. Smiling just thinking about it!

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