The winter that won’t let go

I’ve become accustomed to leaving the windows open nearly all the time here. Who would want to block the amazing sounds that drift in? I love the gentle rattle of the palmettos when a breeze filters through them. Songbirds chirp happily from the live oak trees, harmonized perfectly with the occasional squawk of a wading egret from the marsh. And I can always fall asleep easier to the distant sound of crashing waves.

The ocean breeze keeps the house from getting too hot during the day. At night the air cools the house down from what heat has built up through the day. Air conditioning? Pfff…who needs it? I’ll take the ocean breeze, thank you. So, for about two months in the dead of winter and on the more humid days of summer if the wind dies down, we leave the windows open.

Our first winter at the beach was average to mild. Temperatures might dip into the 30s, but would usually rebound for a few days into the 50s or even 60s. But this winter was different. This January I watched snow and ice settle in for most of a week before melting away (see the picture from my back deck). Long-time locals tell me they haven’t seen snow on the island since about 20 years ago. I waited patiently for the weather to warm up again, but winter keeps hanging on. The weather seemed to almost tease me over the last six weeks or so, warming into the 70s and 80s for a few days before dropping again into the 40s.

Yesterday, I worked outside most of the day, repairing the outdoor shower. I worked in a t-shirt, shorts, and bare wet feet, and I felt great doing it. The windows were open and it felt like Spring should feel. We left one of the windows open as we went to sleep that evening.

This morning I woke up expecting to see fog from my breath…while still lying the bed.

Temperatures are once again in the 40s. I really don’t mean to complain. I’m grateful to live here. There are other parts of the country still blanketed with snow (we have a visitor with us who escaped from it for the weekend). But just the same, when I moved here I didn’t expect to deal with cold temperatures so much. I’d rather be in shorts and flip-flops than jeans and a jacket.

So the windows are closed again. I’m looking across the marsh to the ocean where the sun is just beginning to break through the clouds. Signs of hope…

(Feature photo by the author. The day was as dreadful as the image.)

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