I almost feel bad saying so—since so many of our friends around the country are still neck deep in snow!—but it definitely feels like spring has arrived here. I used to laugh all our years in Maine when the official arrival of spring, around the 20th of March each year (give or take a day or so) we were still in the depths of winter.
Here, truth be told, we’ve spent fully the last two months waiting for “the next big snow” feeling that surely it would come, but it never did. Never say never, I suppose—certainly it could conceivably still come—but it seems increasingly unlikely.
Winter was “odd” this year—the snow started very early, barely even November when the first good snowfall came, and there was no question we’d have a white Christmas. But after the first few (not all that deep) snows, there really wasn’t much more. We did have one really cold spell—single digit temps—but even that was brief and most of the other days have been pleasant with ample sunshine to keep it from feeling too cold.
Flowers are out! Our first little crocuses popped their heads out not too long ago and, true to all those pictures you see, it snowed a few days later and they bravely bobbed their pale purple heads above the snow. All the white-stuff was gone by midday, though (too quickly for me even to capture a photo) and they’re now gone, giving way to the tulips, forsythia, and apricot blossoms.
We used to think, during our years in Costa Rica, that we’d seen enough change of seasons to last us and we thoroughly enjoyed the “year ’round spring” that Costa Rica is famous for. It’s funny, we’d not even felt that we “missed” the different seasons until we were actually back amongst them, and now we thoroughly enjoy each change, four times a year.
Utah has a particularly nice “set” of seasons. All four are very clearly represented, and really nicely so. Starting with where we are now, spring is spectacular. (A nice spring is one of the few things I missed once I left the south, some thirty years ago. It’s nice to have it back!) Then summer can, of course, be hot, but the dryness makes it remarkably bearable. We are able to turn the A/C off almost every night and not feel the need to turn it back on until midday the next day, so we enjoy much of the “open windows” climate we liked in Costa Rica.
Fall is, again, lovely, with cooling temperatures, blue skies, bright sun. We don’t have the spectacular leaves that we had in Maine, but still plenty of nice color, particularly when we take the season as an excuse for nearby day-trips further into the mountains. And then winter rolls around with its snowy beauty but with dry sunny days to keep it from feeling too grim.
Of course all is not perfect (is it anywhere?!?) so there are winter days with the Salt Lake Valley’s infamous “inversion” and resulting bad air. We’re lucky that our home up here on the furthest “uphill” side of Centerville is almost always above it, so while we can look down on it, we’re not actually in it. And let’s not forget that we’re essentially living in high desert, so lack of rain or snow—i.e. drought—can be a problem.
But we find those to be minor issues—described more in the interest of full disclosure rather than true annoyances—and now that we’ve been here a bit more than two full years, we continue to appreciate it literally every day.
Now I’m looking forward to gardening season. Louise—bless her heart!—came over today and helped me clear out a big part of our landscaping bed that runs along the side of the house and David was so inspired by our work that he took the big loppers down and pruned back the roses. (Louise was a bit horrified since he had no real idea what he was doing, but I said he couldn’t possibly know any less than I did last year when I pruned them, and they’d survived and thrived, so I thought it would be fine!)
Meanwhile, I’m doing a bit of “gardening” indoors, having learned that you can re-grow things like romaine lettuce and scallions in water in your kitchen window-sill. The romaine is amazing—it begins growing so fast you can’t believe it, literally within the first day of putting it up there. But the actual rate of growth is pretty slow, so now some weeks later, just as promised in what I’d read, we have lettuce that’s about four inches tall. So, it’ll be a while before we’ll feast on the resulting salad, but it’s still fun. It’s free, it’s organic (we started with organic romaine), and fun to watch.
And, what about Avila—our primary “reason” to move here? Well, glad you asked! She’s wonderful, approaching her third birthday next month. She’s incredibly verbal, literally narrating her life as she moves through it. She continues to come out with things that just stop us in our tracks as we look, amazed, at each other and say, “How is it possible that she knows that?!?”
Nothing is as precious as when she snuggles up to me, lays her head against me, and says, “I love you, Grandma!”
If we’d ever wondered about coming back—and frankly, we never do!—that would surely overcome everything else!
A few more pix below….