March 25, 2012

Sunny weather redefining region

On March 18, I was bitten by a mosquito. Here, in the "frozen tundra" of the North Country.

Instead of receiving a swat and a quick death, the mosquito escaped with my blood, simply because I was stunned and unprepared. Mosquitos in winter; it's come to that.

Somehow, winter here ended before it ever began. We went from summer, to fall, to later fall, to mid spring to early summer with barely a pause to pay the heating bill.

We lost an entire season, one that used to define our region. Sure, there was a Christmas and a New Year's, but Thanksgiving was whiter than both. Heck, parts of New Mexico had more snow in a day than Plattsburgh had all winter.

Snow blowers gathered dust for the past three months. Personally, I pulled out a snow shovel just three times, and once was just to knock the Frisbee off the roof.

This winter, ski resorts resorted to giving scenic gondola rides. Skaters were forced to swim. Snowplow drivers filed for unemployment.

Snowball fights became just fights. Ice fishermen were forced to, well, fish in open water. St. Bernards rescued hikers from the bottom of mudslides. Biathletes went from potential Olympians to dangerous people running through the fields with guns.

Hardly any kids were concussed at the local sledding hill this year because there was hardly any sledding. Children couldn't make snowmen, instead being forced to cobble together terrible little figures out of dirt, twigs and freshly mown grass.

Our once howling winds changed to tropical breezes. Snow angels became dust devils. Winter carnivals became spring flings. Ice palaces became wading pools. Our New Year's Eve party turned into a backyard cookout.

Department stores started to put up their bathing-suit displays in January. I couldn't buy a sweater or a pair of gloves anywhere in February.

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