Friday, January 2, 2009

False Spring and January Thaws

Good Morning Bloggers,

Seed catalogs arrived in mid-February when I was young, and I always considered them to be the harbinger of spring. Last week, on the tail end of 2008, I received two of them and I felt a little bit let down. Seed catalogs arriving in February bring hope and the reminder that spring never fails to arrive. Seed catalogs in late December make me wonder where to put them in the holiday chaos. Talk about premature!

I know everyone is focused on finances these days, but winter has only just barely arrived and I have not even begun to think about planting anything at all. Anything I plant would die of the cold, even here on the fairly temperate Delmarva Peninsula.

When I lived in the Adirondacks, you couldn't plant anything at all until Memorial Day. Here on the peninsula, which is warmed by the winds off the Chesapeake Bay and the Atlantic Ocean, you can't plant until maybe late March or early April. Things grow well here, and it is not unusual for farmer to harvest two crops in the summer, but even these canny husbandmen wouldn't think of planting in January.

The fact is, we have been locked in a cold snap that started back in November and I can't wait for our January Thaw. We used to have those, even back in the Adirondacks - warm days with sunny skies and warm winds would break up Jack Frost's grip and allow us to wander out to sit in the sun for a day or two.

It seems to me that the seed people need to re-think their advertising campaigns. I love looking at seed catalogs, but I really need to do so in the middle of February when I can't stand winter any more and do dumb things like cutting my hair or painting the batheroom chartruse. There are times when you need hope, and times when you wonder where to put the catalogs until it is time to drool over beefsteak tomatoes and purple roses.

That said, I am going to put this out to the universe. Hold the seed catalogs until spring seem tardy - and keep on the sunny side! Terry

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