Sunday, April 08, 2012

Spring has sprung! :: Anne McAllister

I live in the upper midwest where winter is a well-known phenomenon.  Some years it actually seems as if our four season are Winter and June, July and August. 

108666769CS002_LARGE_SNOW_SI like snow as much as the next person, but some years even I say, “Enough!”

Not this year. This winter I often found myself looking out at the white stuff and saying, “Is this all there is?”

Mind you, I was NOT complaining. I was merely voicing the same incredulity that almost every one of my neighbors was expression as well.  We had winter – of sorts. But we had absolutely nothing to complain about. It got down to zero a handful of days. Never more than two at a stretch (two is NOT a stretch, believe me).  And it snowed. Now and then.  Periodically.

So, yes, there was winter. But really, a perfect winter. Just ask all of us – minus the people whose income depends on ski resort earnings.  We were happy as clams.  Happier even.

scillaAnd then, round about the first of March, came spring.

Color us amazed.  Surely it won’t stick around, we said when the temps hit 60.  Surely we’re imagining things we said when the temps hit 70 two or three days in a row.  Is the thermometer broken? we asked when one day mid-March it hit 83.

These are unusual temperatures for Iowa, Wisconsin and Minnesota.  But not unheard of. Except for the fact that they seemed to stick around. It didn’t get below freezing for weeks. 

mowMy husband actually had to break down and MOW THE LAWN – three (count ‘em. He did.) times in March alone. And once so far in April.

But we’re not complaining. 

Not just because it was a relatively short, relatively mild, relatively free-of-feet-of-snow winter. But because it is the most beautiful spring I’ve ever seen.

The scilla came up through the grass mid-March. The daffodils were blooming right on their heels.  The tulips are everywhere. The lilacs are gorgeous, as are the red bud trees and the flowering crabapples and the Jonathan and Beacon apple trees in our yard.  The whole town looks like an ad for a seed catalogue.  Mind-boggling.

crabappleIs it global-warming?  I hope not.  Is it the rare and beautiful spring that we so often don’t get because of fickle weather patterns?  A happier thought.

All I know is, I’m glad I got my book finished so I can go out and bask in the sunshine, walk the dogs and pretend that it’s going to last and last and last. 

I love it.

My mother, fiercely determinedly loyal Californian that she was – and who lived for nine years of her life in Iowa with her teeth clenched -- would have said, “If you LOVE IT SO MUCH, why don’t you move back to California where it’s like this all the time?”

To which I can only answer, “Mom, it’s wonderful because it’s unexpected and unlikely and more than we deserve. And you never really appreciated California until you lived in Iowa, either, did you?”

savasswildcat_usWhat’s the weather like where you are?  Making you happy?  Hope so!

Anne’s current book, Savas’s Wildcat, a Harlequin Presents Extra, is out this month. 

Savas’s Wildcat is set on Balboa Island in California in March, where it rained throughout most of the book. Well, not every day, but a lot.

Just saying . . .


Kaelee said...

We had a fairly mild winter and I now have crocus flowers out in my garden. It was great to have days when you could walk outside without freezing. Now we just would like a bit of rain as we need the moisture.
I'm still waiting for my scilla to bloom and my lilacs will probably bloom in June as usual.

Liz Fielding said...

Beautiful, Anne. We've had a mild winter (after two nightmares) and an unexpected warm week (which didn't last nearly long enough). The daffodils are fading, there are primroses along the lane and the hedges are misty over white as the blackthorn blooms. And after the catkins, tiny leaves are breaking out on the hazel. Love spring.

Anne McAllister said...

Kaelee, I hope you have a beautiful spring whenever it arrives. Ours has not been very rainy, either. But the farmers aren't complaining right now. But they've got everything plowed and ready to plant as soon as the biggest danger of frost is past.

Anne McAllister said...

Liz, I remember a part of a spring I spent in Wales where there were more daffodils than I've seen in the rest of my life. It was wonderful! We don't have primroses here or blackthorn, but I'm imagining it beautiful. Enjoy!

ev said...

Winter was very mild here in NY, which is great, except that the water levels are down which will cause problems later on if we don't get rainfall to cover it. I know I need to mow my lawn, but just haven't had the energy to get the lawn mower out. But I will.

Mary Anne Landers said...

Thank you for your post, Anne. The pictures are lovely.

Here in my part of Arkansas we had only one day of snow this winter. Way too mild!

Spring came sooner than ever before in my memory. It's been pretty, but I wonder if we're in for a scorcher of a summer. If that's the case, we'd better enjoy the moderate temperature while we can.

Good luck with "Sava's Wildcat"!

Annie West said...

Hi Anne,

Good luck with this new book. I'm chuckling over the rainy Californian weather.

Here on the east coast of Australia we're enjoying a gorgeous autumn. Warm weather with a crisp start to the day, sun and little rain after the wettest summer I can remember. Everything is still in bloom and the place is alive with birds. Just gorgeous weather. Sadly, unlike you, I've got a book on the go and so can't be outside as much as I'd like. Soon - probably in time for the wet weather to begin again!

marybelle said...

It's Autumn here in QLD & just glorious. Cool nights & mornings & warm, sunny days.

Anne McAllister said...

Ev, I think you're entitled to wait and mow your lawn when you feel like it -- provided the grass isn't above your knees!

Mary Anne, thanks for the good wishes on Savas's Wildcat. I hope you don't have a scorcher of a summer. I hope we don't, too. I'm thinking positive thoughts about moderation. Join me???

Annie, Your east coast Oz weather sounds lovely. Hope you get out to enjoy it occasionally. I need a break after the last book. It was definitely HARD WORK. Oh, and the book in California took place in March. It often rains there a lot in March. So I took advantage of that when I was writing the book.

Marybelle, Glad your Queensland weather is brilliant. Long may it last!

Chrisbails said...

I am in Iowa and get to feel all the seasons. I get the snow, the hot, the rain, and the beautiful fall colors. I love Iowa, excerpt for the really cold days with too much snow.
This book sounds great.