ELLEN, FROM GDYNIA, POLAND: So we’re officially two-thirds through winter, and I can’t believe it: trees are budding, tiny daisies are dotting the grassy field across the street. It must be close to 50 degrees out there and the sun is even shining.
How can this be? I’m not just in Poland, but northern Poland.
Sure, we had snow last week, but only enough to be a treat to the eyes and an annoyance to owners with vehicles parked outdoors. Is the only challenge to this winter wimp going to remain the one day in early January it was –14?
My heavy coat, mufflers and boots with serious traction have never left the closet. Ditto the huge umbrella I bought in September, when I decided it would probably rain every day until winter, when all would go to ice. The day of that purchase was the last time it was opened. Every subsequent rain has been so light, snapping up the hood of my jacket sufficed.
Am I complaining? Lots of people are. Particularly winter sports enthusiasts, whose ski equipment, skates and snowboards have languished in their closets. Moodily, they tell me that ten years ago, it was very different. Some remember strolls on the Baltic Sea and nearby lakes. Snowfalls at least thigh-high. Days on end of temperatures well below zero. In short, exactly the kind of winter I had anticipated with a sort of fascinated dread.
Well, enough weather commentary. I’m taking my dog and heading for the beach. For all that it’s been so mild, sunlight is rare and fleeting. I’m ready for a look at a calm, sparkling sea.
(Copyright 2008 by Ellen Dlott)