Tens of thousands without power in the Midwest, lines downed by heavy April snow. Tornados tearing through the South, leveling homes and devastating entire lives. The culprit: Winter Storm Walda. But we all know the truth: Mother Natures is to blame.
Did I really just type “April snow?” The Weather Channel has cleverly renamed April 2013 as “Snowpril,” and while Denver is no stranger to April (snow) showers (I read that in 1947, a June 12 snowfall chilled Father’s Day cookouts!), by April, I’m already anticipating May’s flowers. Last weekend, I wore a parka. Today, I’m wearing pedal pushers. Last weekend, I shivered; today, I’ll sweat. What ever happened to a little moderation?
My brother Matt, now a Virginia transplant from sunny Florida, has lamented the whimsy of spring in this state. I understand his frustration, because more than its three siblings, spring plays the ultimate tease, usually tempting us first in late January or early February. I remember a sunny Tuesday in early February, driving home from the grocery store with my five-year-old son, Max, in the backseat, the sunroof open, sunshine bathing us both. “Mommy, the sun is making me too hot,” he said. Yup, February isn’t half bad, I thought. Little did I know what March had in store.
Just a month later, a blizzard pummeled the Shenandoah Valley. We measured 18 inches on our back deck. The local Wal-mart–get ready for this–it closed! Where did people flock for their milk, bread, hot chocolate, toilet paper, and most important of all, chocolate chip cookies? I still don’t know. At one point, the wind blew so hard, the snow appeared to fall parallel to the horizon. My children complained that the snow was too deep for sledding. That’s right, they complained about snow! My sweet husband shoveled the neighbor’s driveway, because she couldn’t find her shovel, the rapidly accumulating snow burying it before she could rescue the helpless tool from the 12-hour avalanche that befell our neighborhood.
And now, less than a month later, my children beg me to turn on the air conditioning. I’m tempted to oblige. It’s hot! Even my winter-wary Floridian brother agrees. I went to visit him yesterday, and when I suggested we walk to a restaurant, a mere three blocks from his house, he said, “It’s too hot.”