Winter seems to finally be at an end. Daily temperatures are slowly climbing back up, trees are beginning to show blossoms. We’re having rain instead of snow. All-in-all, things are looking up.
I realize that in the great scheme of world weather, the winter we experienced here in northern Virginia wasn’t much to complain about. We had several relatively mild snowstorms that didn’t amount to much, even though the local newspaper tried to make a big deal out of them. The massive snowstorms that buried the mid-west and north east largely missed us, for which I am deeply grateful. There were a few days of night-time temps down in the teens, with some days of daily temps in the 20’s. Not bad, really.
I just have to admit that I’m not big on cold weather. When I complain about winter, people always ask me where I’m from, and are surprised that I grew up in New York. I then explain that after about 30 years of living in warm-weather climates (San Diego, Hawaii, Southern Italy, Mississippi Gulf Coast) I learned to enjoy year-round warm. Beside, it’s hard to get a boat out on the water when the water is iced over.
So, for the past couple of months I’ve been hibernating inside the house when I’m not actually at work, and dreaming about what I’ll do post-winter. More than dreaming, I’ve been outfitting my two new boats with proper equipment and reading up on fishing and kayaking lore. I’ve also taken the step of enrolling for my boating safety class. Finally.
I haven’t needed to take a boating safety class so far due to the way the states I’ve lived in have been phasing in the requirements. Back in Mississippi anyone born before 1958 were permanently “grandfathered” and did not need to take a boating safety class, ever. I guess the state government, with the wisdom that comes only to true southerners, decided that if we old-timers had lived this long we’d figured out how not to kill ourselves on the water. Or else we were expendable. Whatever.
Here in Virginia, the state is phasing in boating safety classes over a period of years. Due to my advanced age, I didn’t need to take the course for another ten years or so. However, if I wanted to cross into Washington, D.C. waters I needed to have my certificate. So I decided that it was time to get legal, especially with a new boat and all. I enrolled for a class starting in two weeks from now, and Winnie agreed to take the course with me. So it should be a nice day of doing something together.
Besides boating, the other big upcoming activity in the Charest household, Virginia edition, is gardening. Winnie is already shopping for seeds and plants and looking at where she’ll put a vegetable garden. I’ve decided I want to try some gardening again, something I haven’t done since Winnie arrived in Mississippi. We expanded our yard last fall by filling in an embankment out to our property line, which added a large flat area of potential ground that also receives more sunlight that Winnie’s original garden. We need to add fencing to keep the deer from enjoying fine dining at the Charest’s place, but no big deal. We already have the material so It’s just a matter of a warm rain-free weekend day to put the fencing up.
I’m planning on just doing something small, probably one five square-foot planning bed similar to what I was doing in Mississippi. I’m sure I’ll get some flack from Winnie, but I can deal…
So that’s about it. We’re looking forward to about seven months of weather that enables us to do the things we really enjoy. Here’s hoping that all our loyal readers have the same opportunity this year to enjoy the things you really enjoy!
March 31, 2014: Edited for format and typos
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