The Ides Of March

March 15, 2018. Unlike Mr. Caesar, I shall survive the day.

Considering myself (and hoping to be seen by others) as a jovial sort, I try to look on the bright side of every aspect. Besides, I feel I’ve already complained enough for one winter: its bleakness and even, more recently, my dashed expectations of quickly marching into spring.

I made a mistake last year. As the snows continued to fall (and fall), I asked my computer for the local forecast. Snow?

No, I know today (and probably tomorrow).

With spring only days away, let me look instead fourteen days into the future.

Unless you want to get really discouraged, do not try this at home. I can tell you it was a big, big mistake.

While many (but not all) of the days are expected to climb above freezing, only at the tail end of the month will the thermometer rise above forty. Is forty-two all that exciting when we’re at that point, just two days from April?

And while “sunny” does occur once (once in two weeks!), even then there’s a 10% chance of precipitation. (And we know what that means around here.)

Of more importance to my pup, this is the time when the sunlight reaches the mat by the shower, one of his favorite places to nap.

Both pets are amazingly adept at searching out spots of sunlight wherever they may be. I am reminded that 2017 fared little better about this time. I was wrong. Big snow was predicted for the month but it petered out only to drop ten and a half inches on the 21st. But that was that — until April. And I’m not going there . . . yet.

Thursdays seemed particularly hard hit in 2018. Perhaps that’s only because a favored restaurant has been featuring hamburger specials on that night.

The meat is loaded with such goody extras that I anticipate the treat for most of the week. (Plus it’s a joy to let somebody else fix my dinner.) But Thursdays this year have been — no, no and still another no. Simply too much snow and that without letup.

This has also wreaked havoc on my garbage schedule. I’m asked to have it curbside by nightfall for an early Friday pickup. Usually this is no problem.

But set it atop one of the many snowdrifts along the road in this season and the odds are far too good it’ll be plowed under by dawn. Last week the trash collector was considerate enough to wait when he saw me traipsing down that long drive, black bag in hand.

Kindnesses are always appreciated but not something I should grow to expect.

I have no trouble trapping the mice in this weather but then what?

Usually small “used” critters can be tossed over the fence into the ravine. I couldn’t possibly reach it now — and positively have no desire to try.

Hoping to find some news (good, of course) to make my excursion worthwhile, by mid-afternoon I bundle up, scarf, boots and heavy leather gloves and take the 118 steps down to the paper tubes.

The wind is stiff and the snow looks like the ice I suspect it is. Home — warm! — safely.

I’m happy to give Minor his “trekking” treats while my treat is knowing I needn’t leave again.

So what now? My horoscope reminds I seldom do what I’d like to do so take advantage of this opportunity. (Are they snowed in too?) I have my usual long list and am proceeding — well, slowly. There is always plenty to to keep me occupied and — generally — happy.

I’ll confess now I watched television last night, something I don’t do except for football and now golf in their proper seasons. TV strikes me as a colossal waste of time, just a way of contributing to brain-deadedness.

I’m well into Carlyle’s French Revolution which I love and have Alice Munro (and Foreign Affairs) at hand when I need a break. Or I might even go back to Julius who didn’t make it through at all. But it’s just so dark and gloomy.

No, not gloomy. Snow is certainly brighter than rain. Another bright red hibiscus blossom has opened, right next to the one that just fell while, like it nor not, the poinsettias remains brightly healthy.

In fact, the lovely live wreath I was given a full three months ago hasn’t dropped a needle and smells fresher than before.

I’m in. I have heat. I have light. I have a good life. Let it snow . . . if it positively must.

Susan Crossett has lived outside Cassadaga for more than 20 years. A lifetime of writing led to these columns as well as two novels. Her Reason for Being was published in 2008 with Love in Three Acts following in 2014. Both novels are now available at Lakewood’s Off the Beaten Path bookstore. Information on all the Musings, her books and the author may be found at Susancrossett.com.

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