Monday, March 5, 2012

Blooms and Suits

"March is a tomboy with tousled hair, a mischievous smile, mud on her shoes and a laugh in her voice."
-  Hal Borland

                              What is it with Burpee and Lands End flooding my mailbox!

 Flowers, vegies and Swimsuits.  Aaaccck. They are trying to drive a person who already has Spring Fever insane!  We had a snowstorm this weekend and it's still 10 weeks till our last frost date!

I always tend to push that though, especially when we get a few teasing 50 degrees during the day and the sun is warm enough to heat up my bluejeans -- when it's out that is. There are a few hardy plants, like pansies and a few herbs that will laugh at the frost and let me play in the dirt.

Kids are never cold!
One of the pit falls of living so close to the lake, a mile and a  half as the crow flies inland from the shore, is the breeze coming off the cold water. It gives us clouds and a darn chilly wind in the Spring.  You can go 7 miles inland and the sun is shining brightly and it's 10 degrees warmer!  It's also a plus in the Summer though. When I drive towards the lake, down the hill the last mile towards home, I can sometimes watch the temperature outside my car drop by 10 degrees.  The lake breeze is cooling everything off.  We get the same with snow in the winter: go inland and the sun is shining, while back at the house it's a blizzard.

  I try to explain Lake Effect to Doug, who's from the east side of Michigan and has a different kind of lake related weather, to no avail.  He did get to experience one majorly awesome thunderstorm that rolled through a few years ago, though, even I hadn't experienced one as bad as this one was.

 We were out in the garage watching the heavy black purplish clouds roll in from the lake, that odd yellow green tint below them, and listening to the thunder out over the lake.  This storm came in so fast we didn't have time to get back to the house, nor would it have been wise to attempt to.  Sixty MPH winds with gusts to ninety, and we were surrounded by huge old maple trees.  Lightening and thunder was so loud it was both deafening and blinding.

The rain came in sideways sheets, all 9 inches of it in just under two hours.  It was fun -- until the electric went out -- which is cool except the sump pumps don't work.  Flooded inside and out!  The pool even overflowed.  I think we spent 2 days pumping out the basement.  You've got to love Michigan basements in the country -- keep nothing on the floor!

yes that's a frog on his shoulder
My daughter and her hubby and the G'kids were all over that evening and no one was going anywhere. Trees were down all the way to town and everywhere in town.  For the first time I can remember, the town was shut down, flooded and with no power for 2 days.  It took quite a bit longer than 2 days for the yard to dry up.  The Grandkids enjoyed the extra pond where there shouldn't have been one! Frogs even moved in.

Did I mention I love Mother Nature?  I do really.  Such awesome power. 

I have to add here that the reason he doubts my weather forecasting is because in the 2 years since he moved totally to this side of the state, neither winter or summer has been normal.  Nothing like I explained, anyway. Winters have been mild and hardly any snow and summers hot!

 When the calendar flips over to March, even though it's cloudy and chilly most days, there is always a day here and there to tease of what's to come.  That's what really kicks in the old Spring Fever and I long for bright blue skies and warm sunshine.

I'm happiest when I can go out the door early in the morning barefoot in cutoffs and a tank top.  I know that type of dress will be more than that 11 weeks away. I tell myself one more month and it will really be Spring.  I can start to plant the real garden and when that time comes the beach time isn't far away.

So the dratted catalog people are helping to help push a cabin fever afflicted soul a bit farther over the edge. We have all these big wall windows here in the condo, maybe I can turn them into a greenhouse. That  might work and I can often find a corner out of the wind in the sun and pretend it's not 40 degrees.  That works, too.  For another month or so, it will have to work!

Seems to me March would be the perfect time to head south, way far south, or maybe just anywhere where I'm not tempted to start ordering everything that looks like I'm going to need (want).  

I think the MAN heard me sigh way up in the loft.


  1. Just this morning I was saying to my kids excitedly, "Spring's coming!" And then I asked them what their favorite season is. My Kyle said summer because there's no school. I love Spring! It's just magical and full of hope and energy. I can't wait to turn the soil over and plant something. Anything!

  2. Hi Betsy...I'm glad I'm not the only one impatiently waiting..One day last week it got up to 60* for a few hours in the afternoon and I was out there with my shovel..Duh..the ground is still frozen a few inches down.  I did find 3 brave little daffys poking their leaves up though!  Then we get a snowstorm this past weekend and it's still snowing right now!  but..another's supposed to get up close to 60 again for a day or two know where I'll be...pretending it really IS Spring if only for a day!  

  3. Now where did my profile photo go??!!  sigh...

  4. I. Hate. Spring.

    Oh! Did I say that out loud? YOU KNOW how I feel about the disgusting mix and mythological bull-honkey you all call Spring.

    I am, however, tired of the cold... it seems like I drop an average of 10 pounds now a year- and I so completely understand now how some people are always whining about "being cold." I don't ever seem to really warm up for more than short spurts of time.

    I grew up with "Lake effect" and i think unless you do- you just don't "get it." I can remember (one of my earliest memories) snow being piled higher than the telephone wires on the poles.

    We watch the storms like that sometimes in the mountains here, watch the lightning strike and listen to the thunder roll, but rarely get hit with the biggies. We sat on my nob one afternoon, getting sunburn, glassing for critters, and watching a horrible looking snow storm hit the camp in the next valley- giggling at their bad luck...

    The pictures are great, Ann. I love seeing you and the kiddos and your area... it looks lovely and comfy. You talk about riding that sand dune near you that takes you right to the lake- right? (or am I confused) Is it a back trail that leads you to the lake?

  5. Amber..
    mythological bull-honkey ? Snickortat that..but yup I know how you feel about MUD and have that already!  goofy snow, melt, rain. snow..I knew you'd get Lake Effect!  I didn't know you got it there!  I think it's cool actually!  It's never boring. 
    I bet you have Awesome weather with the mountains and wide open spaces!!   sigh...

    You're looking east in the pics..the Lake and dunes are a mile through the fields and swampy area to the west..then 1/2 mile through the woods on the back side before you climb up a deer trail that switch backs to the top and go down the sandy side.  I think I have one pic where Doug and I walked up another smaller park area half way up a smaller dune to the top, but it was blowing so hard we got sand blasted.

      All  my ride photos are either on believe it or not my scanner is kaput..or on tons of negatives..I never took a digital out there, I forget or tend to get wet..well you know..My friend has taken some vids of some of the walkable trails and posted them but no one is allowed in where we ride. we have special permission..saved the caretaker(a State cop and married to a childhood friend of mine or we wouldn't have had access either!) lots of hiking time looking for kids that would try to get in ( it's 900 acres)..if they could..there's really only one way in, unless you come by water,  and you need a gate key and have to brave Max the german shepard that lives by their house, which by the way is the little house where the Wizard of Oz was written!
     I might be able to get some good shots from google earth that shows the area..lots of big trees though till you get to the bowls on the west side of the dunes!

    How the heck do you lose 10 lbs in the winter!  I'm pretty  so tired of putting on layers to go out and be comfortable.  I'm always cold! So I'll TAKE mud and