18 January 2007

Now THIS is winter!

When we moved to Maine, I was quite intimidated by the prospect of spending a winter here. I had spent a frigid winter in Rhode Island where the temperature had not risen above 4 degrees F for months on end, and the town in which we lived broke all snowfall records that year.

To me, Maine was the last outpost before the arctic circle.

Yet, when we arrived on a warm summer day, I was delighted to see lush trees, signs for local beaches, and pools in many back yards. Of course, a few months later when winter arrived, and with it several feet of snow, I realized the arctic circle thing was not far from the truth.

In December of that year, it began to snow, and it seemed to snow every few days until the end of March. And of course the temperatures were so low that the snow never melted - it just kept piling up and I wondered if it would pass our front windows. It didn't, but it did manage to completely cover a quaint little bench sitting in our front yard. Yet, the snow was all gone by the middle of April, and I found that Maine is the perfect place to plan a seasonal calendar. Winter truly arrived almost exactly on December 21 and was all but gone by March 21. Summer and Fall are consistent as well.

Yet this year...

Christmas found us without so much as a snowflake on the ground; in fact, many lawns were still uncharacteristically green. The middle of January (just a few days ago) found us going for walks wearing sweatshirts or vests. Just last week I still hadn't worn my winter coat yet this season.

However, this past Monday, winter arrived. It might be a bit late, but it is most definitely here. After a halfway decent snowfall of about 6 inches, the temperature dropped steadily, ensuring us that any snow that fell is here to stay for a while.

I woke up early this morning to feed our wood-burning stove, and the thermometer outside our kitchen window is registering a shivery -2 degrees F. Yesterday morning was much worse; the temperature was the same, but there was about a -20 degree windchill blowing angrily outside. This morning is calm, but it is the calm before the storm. We are expecting more snow tonight.

I have to admit, the warm temperatures have been quite nice, but these frigid winter days have a special place in my heart. They make me want to bake bread and knit and drink tea; things that I never did when we lived in a warm climate. Besides, regardless of how cold it gets, in a mere three months, the forsythias will be blooming... you won't find THAT above the arctic circle!

Copyright © 2007 - Paulla Estes


webwitch said...

Yup- moved from AZ in Sept 06 and thought I got ripped off when it was still warmish in early Dec., but WINTER HAS ARRIVED! I have adjusted very well to the cold I remembered from childhood and upstate NY. The only bad thing that happened so far was I pulled a ditz attack and ran out of fuel for my furnace on the coldest night in Maine!!! WOW! I was frozen on a stool in front of my electric stove all night! And who the heck told me that a mobile home is easy to heat?? I will have to let them know that my cooking stove doesnt cut it when it gets below zero-LOL!!

Paulla said...

Oh my gosh - running out of fuel like that is so scary! I'm glad you had the electric stove. I hope you didn't have any damage.

Don't worry - it wasn't a ditz thing. It's happened to us, too, and many other folks I know. One day, I simply thought the heater wasn't working - didn't even think to look at the fuel gage. :P Thankfully, the woodstove held us over until we got a refill.

Stay warm!

Anonymous said...

are ya warm anyways?!?!? in maine?!?!?