Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Winter Storm "Patrick" Makes the Day White

We continue to chronicle the wacky winter weather of the year 2014 with a special "St. Patrick's Day Edition." Do you see that shamrock over there with all of its lovely Irish green?

We didn't see any shamrocks yesterday. We didn't see any green yesterday, at least not outside the house. Yesterday we were treated to a foot of St. Patrick's Day White. If only it were the froth on top of a nice pint of stout. But it wasn't. It was more of the snowy stuff.

We're tired of the snowy stuff. Do you want to know how tired we are of it? I'll tell you: the schools were closed but the children were not happy about it!

The children are tired of snow days. They've built their forts; they've built their tunnels; they've built their snowmen; they've had their snowball fights and done their sledding. Teresa even went cross country skiing! Just look at these pictures, for example. Snow was still fun back in February:

Teresa's snow fort from FEBRUARY: a perfectly respectable time for snow.
Mess around with plastic sleds in FEBRUARY? Sure! (Teresa and Agnese)
Teresa skiing with friends: look at that happy face... three weeks ago!

All that's fine and lovely. But this is Virginia. It's supposed to be... ummm... what we call in America "the South"... and that means by mid March I expect to see something like this:

This is what I should be seeing around St. Patrick's Day: Our wild forsythias in bloom!

Instead, after almost a week of being tricked by nice warm temperatures, St. Patrick's Day brings us this:

No, no, no, this can't be right. Spring starts, like LEGALLY, this week!
So much for the free-spirited forsythia bush. Basketball? Heh, not today...

Enough is enough. This is why we don't live in Minnesota!

Still, weather is weather. I don't know if this has any relation to "climate change" (wasn't that supposed to make it warmer?--I know, it's more complicated than that; just attempting a joke). In the short run, what can we say? There's no one to blame. No place to file a complaint. And nice weather is not for sale.

Weather is not the only thing in these days that is reminding us that our real life is given to us, and that we do not make ourselves according to our own whims. If nothing else, there are air currents and moisture that affect us. When Spring finally comes, there will be things like flies. Flies! (Pascal remarks about how the annoyance of a fly buzzing in the ear is sufficient to prove that the human mind is not in control of reality [see Pensees 366].) Weather and flies, and other persons and the world with its nations and peoples and history and wars....

Perhaps we can still help change the hearts of people. We can pray and fast and bring the real strength of the spirit into play. But today's weather (at least) must be taken for what it is. And "what it is," on this St. Patrick's Day, is snow.

Oh, but it wasn't so bad. Eileen made a stew with chicken and cabbage and carrots and we had mashed potatoes, and there must have been some seasoning in it unknown to the Celtic peoples because it was very tasty!

And we did see a shamrock, in fact. Years ago we bought a small toddler sized tee shirt for a two year old John Paul. We were visiting friends in Boston's North End (i.e. the other ethnic neighborhood in that venerable town) and we found a little shirt with the saying "A wee bit Irish [not spelled out but represented by a shamrock] e tutti Italiano!" John Paul and the other kids all wore it when they were two or three years old.

Josefina is seven and a half. It still fits her:

She's one of "the wee folk"... but worth more than any pot of gold!