Winter was long and cold and dreary. Spring arrived late. Snow in April, bitter cold…blah, blah, blah.
I finally witnessed the arrival of a livelier season over the weekend.
Maybe because it was a holiday weekend and people were supposed to feel and act like spring was here, they obliged.
Maybe because the sun shone in a clear blue sky and the air was brisk and cool but not cold. Early spring blossoms brightened a dying gray landscape.
It was as if people woke from a long, hibernating sleep.
Friday afternoon I thought I heard someone knocking on the front door. Could it possibly be?
No one knocks on our door. No one comes to our house during the winter. Who wants to visit the shore in winter? We live on a quiet street where for months the only individuals seen are neighbors occasionally scurrying from their house to their car, and later rushing from their warm car, a couple of bags in tow, into their cozy house.
Half the homes on our block are vacation homes, dark and dormant during winter.
I peeked out the front door and, sure enough, an unknown person stood on my porch.
I opened the doors – the screen door not installed yet – and the woman apologized for bothering me, stating she was delivering flowers to the house across the street and no one was home. Would I hold the flowers and deliver them when the woman returned?
Monica is 90 years old and lives alone in the house her father built early in the 20th century. The house came right out of a catalog – literally. It is an original mail order Sears and Roebuck catalog home. Monica grew up in town, married and moved away. She and her husband raised seven children. Eventually, children grown and retirement approaching, Monica and her husband returned to her hometown and her inherited family home. She has lived in the house 30 years.
Monica does not abandon her home, escaping to warmer climes in winter. Not quite a prisoner in her own home, there are days at a time she does not leave, avoiding treacherous wet, icy, snowy streets, fearful of falling.
I spent a few minutes conversing with Monica. She wondered when my grandkids would descend on our quiet street.
Everyone eagerly awaits hearing voices outside, especially children’s shrill, high-pitched racket. We cannot wait to smell burgers cooking on the grill, watch neighbors toil in their gardens, and observe the comings and goings of people on the street walking, often with their dogs, riding bikes, jogging, pushing strollers.
About those dogs suddenly appearing with warm weather. I think in winter some people open the door and let their dog out for a few minutes. No one is around for the dog to run after and no one is around to complain about unleashed canines.
Saturday morning hub and I enjoyed a leisurely stroll along the boardwalk.
Lots of people joined us.
They did not exactly join hub and me, but were also taking advantage of the weather to get outdoors and check out the scenery.
We detoured to a coffee shop where a couple of tables might be occupied on a bleak winter day.
The place was packed.
Signs of life after a long winter slumber.
We will relish the activity, confusion and crowds for a while, and by fall impatiently await the return of laid-back, quiet days.
And so goes our shore cycle of the seasons.