Sunday, March 18, 2012

The winter (and spring?) that wasn't

Well, everyone around here has high compliments for whoever is in charge of the weather around here -- they're calling it the winter that wasn't, which suits most of us just fine, although it did have some downsides for our family...like we bought all the kids fancy new (used-new) skates that they could only use a handful of times because the ice wasn't deemed "safe" by Parks and Recreation until the third week of January...and then it was deemed done for the season by the last Wednesday in February. Whoever heard of such a short skating season? And we had very little snow, which meant very little shoveling...but also only one trip to the sledding hill. What is this, Iowa???

Now we're experiencing an unprecedented spring, with record highs (daytime highs and nighttime high minimum temps) for the past few weeks. On Friday, I noticed that our strawberry plants were up and already the size of dinner plates. Today I noticed that the apple trees, lilacs, and other bushes and trees are beginning to leaf out. We actually hit 81 this afternoon.

And it's March 18. Generally, this time of year, we're dealing with late-winter snowstorms, or at least lots of mud and puddles, and frozen garden beds.

Last Wednesday, the kids got out their swimsuits and slip-n-slide.

So I planted sugar snap peas and lettuce on Friday, because there is no sign of this unusually warm weather letting up...they're forecasting temps to moderate, but stay about 10 degrees above normal. We're not forecast to come anywhere near a freezing temp in the next ten days.

Tomorrow I think I will plant beets. In the meantime, here are some of the photographic highlights from our winter that wasn't.

January 1 - Skating at the municipal ice rink because the ice on Lake Winona
wasn't deemed safe enough. Jaybird has improved in her confidence, moving up
to single-blade skates.

Playing in the driveway on January 10. Note the lack of snow. Or coats.
January 20. At last, real snow! At least three inches! Whoa, break out the snow
plow! Or at least the little shoveler! Alleluia Boy is always happy to help.

Then again...eleven days later, and we've survived our worst cold of the season.
Back to no coats....

February 2. A sort of cold day while visiting the Twin Cities, so we thought
we'd visit the Centenniel Lakes skating canal (this is a manmade pond/canal
behind some upscale stores, with piped-in music and fancy landscaping).
Nope, no luck. CLOSED, due to thin ice. In the Twin Cities. On Feb. 2.
And in Edina, of all places! (Inside Twin Cities joke there.)
February 23. Need I say more?

The sandbox is always most fun first thing in the spring.


Jaybird and her friend set up the very first lemonade stand of the season, probably in the entire city.
March 6. And they got quite a few takers, too!
First dinner on the back deck, March 11.

Little boy likes climbing all over the play equipment now...

...and trying out his big sister's scooter.
Mouse doing public art on the sidewalk in front of our house.

Our first "away" picnic, Wednesday, March 14.
Alleluia Boy frequently walks around with his hands in his pockets...strolling along, looking
around like he owns the place.

And later the same day...swimsuits and a makeshift water slide, all before
St. Patrick's Day.