Thursday, March 6, 2008

I guess I'll have to talk about the weather

I am often heard saying, "The best thing about living in Washington is . . ." There are many things I love about this city--and many things I don't--but here is another for the list: March and April. Where I grew up March was still winter and April was all a tease. But here in Washington March and April almost (almost) make up for the weather the rest of the year. I know that I really shouldn't complain about the weather here because, in truth, I haven't lived in very many places. I suppose there is something to dislike about the weather pretty much anywhere (although I have one friend from San Francisco who would beg to differ). I do know that if I hear one more time, "The thing about X-Ville is, if you don't like the weather, wait five minutes and it'll change!" I will scream.

Anyway, back to my local weather. Summers here begin in May and last until October and they are pretty hot and very, very humid. The kind of humidity that saps your will to live. One summer Eric and I just got on the Metro and rode around because the train cars have air-conditioning. Then our winter comes in November and lasts until February. Winters here are very lame. We got about four inches of snow this year on four separate occasions so, doing the math, I guess that meant the federal government shut down four times this winter. Another gem of a Washington weather anecdote: Eric and I used to work in the same building at his university and arrived for work one rainy, winter morning to find the place closed up. The lone guardian of the front door said, "You didn't hear? Classes were canceled due to the weather." It was raining! Anyway, unlike my northern brethren, we are not buried in snow here. Nor are we suffering from sub-zero weather for the fourteenth week in a row. It rarely dips below twenty, here. So I shouldn't whine, but I've been cold this winter. I used to always think I was a winter person. Winter is so cozy: sweaters, bathrobes, heaps of blankets, fires, cocoa. Right. We kept our thermostat at 63 during the day and turned off the heat at night. We have no carpets. I realized this winter that I have been pretty spoiled in years past. I don't like being cold.

So by the time March arrives in our fair city we've had ten months of rotten weather. This week dawned gloriously. We met some friends at the National Arboretum and sat on blankets in a meadow and basked in the seventy-degree sunshine. Joseph's eczema almost cleared up from one day of outdoor play. The trees are all in bud. In a week or two the flowers will start. Practically every tree in this city flowers during March and April. It's amazing. We have failed, five years in a row, to see the famed cherry blossoms, but it almost doesn't matter because everything is blooming. I'm sure that, come July, I'm going to be hoping that Eric pulls off a last-minute job in Saskatchewan or something but for now, welcome spring!

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