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Just when you thought it was spring, a blanket of blustery chill descends, the central heat kicks on, and you have to get back under a blanket (as I sit writing this under my faux-fur blankie, the one I’ve been carrying around with me since November).
I can understand when wintry weather happens in January, though I still savor the Saturday afternoon this past Jan. 12 when I went for a stroll in shorts along the shore in 77-degree temperatures. I even saw children splashing in an outdoor swimming pool. I think I speak for everyone when I say we love unexpected weather like that. (Why can’t spring be more like winter?)
Just two weeks later, I was sprinting (and limping and gasping for breath) like a bundled-up fool in the North Myrtle Beach 5K Winter Run. If I hadn’t had the foresight to don a knit cap, gloves, two shirt layers and leggings, I would never have made it across the finish line, and I also would not have survived.
It was OK when it got cold again, because it was still January, duh.
Ditto for February and March, when the weather tends toward the yucky spectrum (February) and jonquils bloom too soon (March), only to be frosted over at some unfortunate point.
I know April can be iffy, too.
I remember some nippy Azalea Festivals in Wilmington when the celebrated flowers and celebrants weren’t sure what to do. Even the azaleas in my own yard have been known to peek out, only to retreat and fade in confusion.
How cold has it been this spring?
I’ll tell you how cold it’s been.
When an unexpected freeze-wave descended just a few weeks ago, I couldn’t even go out and fetch any more commercial paper-wrapped logs at the local grocery store or Walmart to stoke my fireplace. The stores had long ago sold out and started stocking up on fresh spring products like plants and fold-up beach chairs and plastic drinkware.
Haven’t we withstood enough cold weather this winter—and now one month into so-called spring?
Is it fair we’ve already endured spring’s bitter chill, only to have it warm up and cool down again this past weekend?
I’m not happy, local strawberry growers aren’t happy, and neither are any of my beach-loving friends.
Things can only get better from here.
At least we can have an optimistic outlook.
Laura Lewis is a staff writer at the Beacon. Reach her at 754-6890 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.