Today our mail was delivered by a postman wearing shorts.
It is January 10th, and I live in Madison, Wisconsin. The thermometer read 51 degrees at our isthmus home.
For the past many days I have seen a twenty-something in shorts taking a ride on his skateboard out on our street. Convertible tops are down as folks run errands, and there is a light-hearted mood just about everywhere. Over the past three days I have noted more than one person raking their lawn. Can a grill and some charcoal be far behind?
The morning newspaper had a cartoon of a young boy pulling a sled up to the door of the Bureau of Missing Persons. The man sticking his head out of the door informs the lad that “We’ll need a better description than “ol” man winter”.
Some are lamenting the lack of winter, but it seems many more are enjoying this unusual weather.
Our mailbox over the past two weeks has been filled with seed catalogs showing the bright array of flower possibilities and greenery just waiting for spring planting time. Burpee, The Cook’s Garden, and Wood Prairie Farm all showed up today.
The Wood Prairie Farm catalog is filled with lots of potatoes, and one great novelty item. They recall that in the early part of the last century fruit boxes were adorned with grand pictorial depictions. There was a term for such art that came to be known as “Fruit Crate Label Art”. Now Prairie Farm is selling postcards in that style of art for the potatoes they advertise.
With all this mild weather it is easy to be lulled into a sense that perhaps this will just continue until the real season of mild weather takes over. I must say….and this is a real change of heart for me as I love winter…but this year the mild winter is just fine.
It has been nice not to have salt all over our car, or need to think about shoveling snow. I have rarely used my winter coat this season, and find my heavier fall jackets more comfortable.
I admit there is a shortage of those wintry days when I hunker down and get certain desk type projects done as the winds howl and the snow piles up. But I must say that I am OK this year with a longer to-do list. Perhaps if we have a rainy spring the desk projects will finally be completed.
After all, for now there are too many seed catalogs to look at, and warm weather to get out and enjoy.
But with mild weather also comes new questions.
Where will the PowWow Wild Berry coneflowers go this year? The seed catalog says they bloom “shockingly brilliant” with extra-large rosy, fuchsia dark rose buttons. I swear some of the most enticing writers work for seed catalogs. One thing is for sure, this item from Territorial Seed Company will be blooming this summer in our yard.
How about the Tomato Soup flower? It is described as “an attention grabber” and a “true work of art” that blooms with gargantuan 5 inch blooms in lusty spiced scarlet. Lusty flowers? Make that two items to order.
I suspect the Tomato Soup flower should be planted away from the sidewalks so not to have drivers divert their attention from traffic.
Now where is the rake? Do we have ice tea in the house? Time is a-wastin’.
So many things to ponder when ‘ol’ man winter is nowhere to be found.