Old Man Winter is faking us out

By Olivia Fowler
I don’t know what’s going on in the rest of the world, but the jonquils are blooming in our backyard. They think spring has already arrived. So do the robins. There were three hopping around outside Sunday afternoon. If spring has truly arrived, somebody forgot to let us know.
I want to believe what the robins believe, but I can’t.
It is my dearest wish for spring to be here. Every year, January and February crawl by with many days bringing nasty surprises when I open the front door and step out onto the porch.
This January has offered a lot of rain. I know we need it desparately, but in the back of my mind I wonder if it would be possible for the rain to be distributed a little more evenly throughout the year.
Wouldn’t it be wonderful to take a little rain from the January account and transfer it into the July and August account?
Rain is wonderful in summer. We sit on the porch and breathe it in. Sometimes we have to be out in it, but in summer rain is a kind friend. A little walk in the rain makes us smile.
The January rain is a wake up call to arthritis, which jumps right in and tries to take over.
That ankle I sprained in a ninth-grade basketball game always signals the arrival of January rain. The weatherman doesn’t have to report on the cold front coming through — my ankle has already notified me of that event.
But despite what the calendar says, we don’t want to argue with the robins.
If they say spring is here, I think I’ll go outside and check out the flower beds.
My shrub roses are putting on tiny leaves. Tulips and hyacinths have pushed through the mulch. The ornamental sweet potato vine, an annual, still has a root system in place.
My rosemary is blooming. There are pink buds on the flowering quince.
We all know this is just a temporary interruption in winter. We remember the dates of snowfalls of the past.
We’ve had snow in February, in March and even flurries in early April.
This “early spring” is just a bait-and-switch move of Old Man Winter. He’s lurking back there behind the robins just waiting for us to let down our guard.
And just when we pull out a few pairs of shorts, he’ll come roaring back onstage with ice and wind and bone-aching cold.
Why can’t he take a vacation? I’d chip in. He’d probably enjoy a few weeks off-duty. Producing all that nasty weather must take a toll. It certainly takes it out of the rest of us.