Well, last week we were all given a little reprieve from our usual frigid winter weather. The temperatures were in the 50s in many places around Maine, and most of the snow melted from the coast to the mountains. Ice fishing shacks were taken off the rivers and lakes, snowmobiles were stopped cold, and ice skaters left their skates hanging on hooks in the cellar.
Mainers took to the streets during this unusual weather. Joggers could be seen wearing shorts and townspeople strolled around their yards, raking leaves that were covered by December snows, and talking to neighbors they usually wouldn't see outside until April. Children flocked to playgrounds and windows were even opened to freshen up homes and businesses from the stagnant indoor winter air.
All over the state, Mainers have felt the crunch of higher heating oil prices, so the warm weather was welcome in the financial regard as well. Woodstoves were allowed to smolder down to embers and heaters were turned off during the day, and sometimes even at night. People all over the area had a spring in their step and didn't even mind the heavy rains. At least it wasn't cold and snowy.
We in Maine love our snow and many of us find a certain cozy mystique in the blowing of the winter winds. But we also crave sunshine and warmth at this time of year. It is an interesting dichotomy: the snow is cold, messy and tiresome, but it provides a brightness to cover the dull, dead, winter landscape. Many Mainers have a love/hate relationship with the snow.
As of today, we've been given a gift of both - pretty snow, and abundant sunshine. The snow fell all day yesterday, but today we awakened to blue skies and trees that look like they'd been covered with cake frosting. It is days such as these that remind us why we say that Maine is the way life should be!
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