Gentle rain tapped against the double-paned window. So slight was the sound that I hardly noticed it.
That's how used to the rainy weather I've become.
Used to be that every time a raindrop hit the deck, I would be exclaiming, "Look! It's raining!" -- even when one could only call it a mere sprinkle.
This year was different. This year moats of water formed around newly planted buildings. Creeks flowed like gray ribbons of remembrance. And the roads accumulated small lakes of runoff around every dip and turn.
I was getting to like our real winter this year. The wind blew, and the rain pounded. Storms came in slow and stayed awhile.
I was expecting this weather to last for a few more months. I stocked up on drinking water. I recharged my emergency lamp. I replaced my flashlight batteries.
Bring it on Wildman Winter. I'm ready for you.
Apparently I was just in time for it to change.
Now sunshine is beaming off the pea green hills, and the roadside flowers have taken their place in the focal parade, front and center.
It's like a chain reaction no one can stop.
I want to warn the posies that a freeze could hit any day, but even the squirrels and birds have come out to play.
The real clincher that spring is around the corner is that those rare almond trees that haven't turned into grapevines yet are full of buds and blooms.
I surrender to the will of nature. If the rains come back, then so be it.
The sun is shining today.
Of course this means I have to break from my wintering habits, too, and I must admit I do have a strong fondness for my space heater.
If it were on wheels, I'd drag it from room to room by its electrical cord, like a leashed pet.
Come along, you little foot warmer.
I know my days with the mini heater are numbered, but I refuse to let go just yet.
I read somewhere that women tend to feel the cold weather more intensely than men, and in many households control over the thermostat is an ongoing battle.
I say this is an unnecessary conflict that can easily be rectified by one simple action.
If he is too hot, he can go outside.
We are still getting down into the 30s at night. Twenty minutes on the porch outside ought to make him appreciate the toasty 72 degrees inside.
No, no. I'm kidding Honey. Here's the remote.
But it does bring up a thought: What ever happened to taking an evening stroll? It's not just a summertime activity. You can check out the flowers and watch the birds building their nests, and it makes the house feel warmer and the food taste better.
And have you noticed?
The sunsets have been spectacular lately.