Can I just say that this freeze and thaw cycle we having going here is playing merry HELL with my mental condition? Yesterday it was so warm, that all the new snow that fell over the weekend has melted entirely, leaving deep puddles around the place, since the ground is still frozen solid so none of it gets absorbed.
Then, of course, the temperature drops significantly below freezing, and we get ice slicks everywhere.
Kids come out of school mid-afternoon, their coats slung over their arms, as it is far to warm to wear them, the sun shines, and we all get a glimpse of what spring looks like in other parts of the country. We wear waterproof boots--unlined, because of the warmth, then our footprints freeze into the slush overnight, and we trip and slide over our own tracks.
The sun melts the snow off of cars, leaving the encapsulated dirt behind, covering the paint with an encrustation like acne of the particulate matter from the atmosphere. The snow runs off, forming stalactites, which eventually reach the ground, forming a colonnade of ice immobilizing the car into place. When one's car has been literally frozen to the ground, it takes the driver by surprise, and cannot possibly be good for the tires either.
When the melt happens, certain plants are uncovered, flash frozen in their chlorophylled greenness, tricking the eye into believing that the pachysandra is growing again! And then, it snows.
The sky is a uniform murky gray; so opaque that any sunlight is evenly diffused across the landscape with a dully indistinct light as if even God has switched to compact fluorescent lighting to save on energy bills. The trees are starkly black, the profusion of tiny branches brutally distinct against the scrim of the sky, looking like wild haired witches with uncombed locks. Everything out my window is weathered and monochrome--the wooden fences turned silvery gray, the beige of the cement foundation and unpainted wood of the garage, the lightless windows that pierce the gloom inside where the cars sit cold and silent. The sky, the dingy white car parked on the street, the unfaced masonry of the apartment building across the way, the husks of whatever weeds volunteered themselves on the construction rubble around the new garage. Gray and dreary and gray.
The dead brown of winter lawns is slowly filling with new snow, the hollows among the clumps of plants only accentuating the dreary color of dormant gardens. Except where the snow falls, smooth and deceitful over the slicks of frozen water that have turned in the cold to dangerous ice. Snow that will continue to fall until it forces us outside to shovel and blow its accumulation off our driveways and sidewalks, then scurry to move our cars out of the way of the snowplows, that close off the ends of our drives and walks so we have to shovel and blow them out again.
Thank god I'm getting out of here in three weeks. It's this sort of weather that makes Scandanavians so dour, and keeps the population of Greenland suicidal. At least I have the promise of desert warmth in March to keep me going. Eventually this will all go away, just not soon enough for my taste.