“Here comes the rain again / Falling on my head like a memory /Falling on my head like a new emotion…”
I once loved that 1984 song by the British duo Eurythmics featuring the soulful vocals of Annie Lennox. But that was before the song became the anthem for Boston’s spring season of 2019.
As usual, our area is stuck in a pattern of miserable weather. I wait for the forecast during every nightly news broadcast hoping something might change. I keep thinking there will be a break in the clouds, a little ray of sunshine, a crumb of hope for a nice weekend. And every time the seven day forecast comes on, the graphics just keep showing clouds and showers, and more clouds and showers. Occasionally there will be a glimmer of optimism when the weatherman says, “Saturday won’t be a total washout; there’s a chance a couple of hours will be rain free.”
I need more than a couple of hours on a weekend to get my yard work done. I’ve got a porch to paint so someday during our oh-so-short summer I’ll be able to sit outside and read a book. I’m beginning to think that might not happen this year. The painting or the reading. Instead of springing ahead, I’m falling behind in everything outdoors related.
I bought a new patio set that needs to be put together. Thanks to the weather, it’s still sitting in its water-logged cardboard box in the same spot where the Home Depot delivery truck dropped it in my yard. I’d like to assemble it before September. Maybe I should just pack it away in my shed while it’s still in the box. My new patio table has a built-in fire-pit. I thought I was going to use it to toast marshmallows while staring into relaxing flames on a breezy summer night. I didn’t know I was going to use it to fight off winter’s chill. The way this weather pattern is going, I’ll have to make a trip to the Stevens Street Recycling Center to reclaim my fallen tree branches to use for kindling.
Sitting next to my unassembled patio set is my new gas grill that has yet to be ignited. The day I planned an early season barbecue we had torrential downpours forcing me to grill my top-dollar steaks inside on my pancake griddle. The steaks cooked fine, but I missed the criss-cross grill marks, the taste of perfectly crisped char, and the outdoor barbecue smell that triggers summer memories.
I wanted to grill outside in any kind of weather so I purchased a “Grillzebo” – a 5-ft by 8-ft canopy with a really cool name. I may have jumped the gun by setting it up too early this season. During a freak April windstorm, the canopy roof was lifted by a 50 mph wind gust. The metal structure flew halfway across the yard before crashing down on the cement patio. Who knew you had to anchor the legs to the ground? I salvaged the twisted metal and bent the frame back to a semblance of normalcy. I was able to re-attach the vinyl roof without too much noticeable damage. A few days later, heavy rain filled the canopy roof and stretched it out of shape. The canopy blew over a second time at the end of the week. I detached the vinyl roof from the corners leaving it hanging in the middle so I didn’t have to take the structure apart completely. It looks like a deflated hot air balloon blowing in the wind, but at least it’s not filling up with water. So much for getting a head start in prepping my yard to enjoy the good weather when (if?) it arrives.
I’m using the weather as an excuse to procrastinate on repairing and painting my front porch. I also have to landscape my front yard to make it presentable for our thirty days of summer. The weekends are short enough without adding inclement weather to the mix. At this rate, I should be done with my outdoor clean-up in time for the Fourth of July holiday. Hopefully sweater weather will be over by then and I can finally turn my furnace off for the season. Nobody told me climate change was going to be like this. I don’t want to sound like a doom and gloomer, but just look out the window.
I get it. This is New England. “England” being the key word. Living in a shroud of cold, dank mist for the entire month of April is part of life in our area. The Glass-Half-Full people say things like, “It’s good for the lawns.” In case the clouds have darkened everyone’s collective vision, the calendar says “May” – as in the “merry month of”. And it’s still raining. I’d like to see some sunshine before I’m pushing up daisies. At least they’ll be well watered.