It’s A Pity . . .


I pity the poor Southerner. I pity all those to whom spring comes early.

It’s March. They’re already sweaty, sweltering, with a sheen of oil on their skin. Here, the air is crisp and refreshing, invigorating even.

They have so little time to prepare for bikini season, it’s already upon them. Here, we have months . . . possibly years.

The bright sun means they have to wear sunglasses, and hide the windows of their souls. Here, our eyes are available to others and our pupils are widely, fetchingly dilated, to let in as much gray light as possible.

There, the bright, riotous colors of flowers are harsh and inescapable. Here, the white and shades of gray are soothing and undemanding. They settle for snowdrops while we enjoy snow drops.

Their sleep is rudely disrupted by the sound of raucous birds. All is silent here.


The pollen in the air means their eyes itch and theirs noses run. Here, we breathe free.

They toil in yard and garden, while we luxuriate with needle, thread, book, and brandy, in front of a roaring fire.


Their days are placid, boring, without excitement. Here, we await, with shortened breath and pounding hearts, the arrival of the next drama with a Christian name—Quinn, Riley, Skylar. Toby . . . is that you on the horizon?


They pay gym memberships and go looking for ways to exercise. Here, we get our exercise for free—shoveling snow, pushing cars from drifts, building snow families.


They drive on clear roads, never learning survival tactics. Here, we have the satisfaction of knowing the gut wrenching, bowel-loosening feeling of competence that comes with pulling out of an icy skid just short of the ditch.


They no longer enjoy know the sheer relief of hot chocolate in cold hands. The thrill of a snow day, listening to the radio and hearing your school’s name on the closure and cancellation list. The atavistic jolt of a fireplace that provides more than simple atmosphere.

No snow angels. No warm maple syrup straight from the boiler. No need for Irish fisherman knit sweaters and Bean boots and Yaktrax, while watching the St. Patrick’s Day parade..

Pity to all of you for whom spring came early . . . you’re missing so much.

The rest of us, this March, let us thank Providence that you and I are Northerners.

67 thoughts on “It’s A Pity . . .

  1. Yes, indeed! We are so lucky to live in the north country. I’ve stocked up on fresh blueberries to feed those robins. But the squirrel has caught on to the blueberry thing. He ate so many yesterday I thought he was going to explode. I love that cat on the mailbox!

    • The squirrels always catch on . . . My mom found that cat at a flea market and brought it on the plane from Florida, sitting on her lap. It’s been on our mailbox ever since!

  2. It is indeed gorgeous here in Ottawa. The lovely bursts of snow, putting on a last show before spring arrives. I am enjoying this mild weather….especially because they have predicted an extremely hot summer here. Oh dear…. Meanwhile the bird noises and songs have changed, we know spring is just around the corner.

    • You have mild weather?? it’s about 10 degrees here right now (Fahrenheit)! I want to believe spring is right around the corner but it’s playing hard to get!

  3. Uhm…better run back outside and jump in the snow: your pants is on fire! XO Johnna
    ps I am going for a walk now, spotting wildflowers, I have put cotton balls in my ears because the birds make such noise, packed a picknick and hope no pollen will fly into it and Charley agrees with you that cats are best left outside with your kind of weather. Hang in there, Spring is around the corner!!!

    • Your comments never fail to crack me up, Johanna! You tell Ms. Charley she better be nice to my cats! They could make mincemeat of her but they’d prefer to be pals . . .

  4. Yes – this transition time from the quiet depths of winter to that blue jay shrieking outside my window right now is just so beautiful. We do more fires now. But – it can be a tease for sure and your sense of humor is the perfect approach – onward and upward you little crocuses!

  5. We didn’t move to SC for the weather, but we sure enjoy it! The new bulbs I planted last Fall are coming up and I went on a road trip with the garden club to nurseries in GA to buy a lot of fun plants – including a lilac! I didn’t think they grew down here and I am excited. The peas are up and the lettuce starts are settling in. I will plant snow peas and carrots and onion sets this weekend.
    All is good here…
    Stay warm and cozy and keep on quilting…

  6. oh, how you have me laughing! all so true – except maybe the sunglasses part – today we FINALLY have some sun, and the glare is amazing! Why settle for soft spring sunshine when you can have brilliant white light? I laughed out loud that we have years before we need to be bikini ready. It’s a good thing. 🙂

  7. This post made me laugh. The problem for us Brits is that we get all of the cold and none of the pleasure. Rainy days, mudslicks, fog ….. this is our lot. Yes, the blossoms and the wildlife too. But observed through windows glossed with constant streams of rain. I will own to being Fed Up.

    • I can see why you’re Fed Up–the mud looks so nasty and ugly. We’ll get some of that in April but not as unrelenting. One thing about a snow storm, the aftermath is prettier than with any other sort of storm.

  8. Your inner Pollyanna is glowing!! ❤ It's chilly here this morning, I've put my wrap around my shoulders and my socks on my feet but still have my white cotton old fashioned nightie dripping its lace onto the floor as I sip my morning coffee and revel in your thoughts and pictures. (I realise that might sound rather glamorous, but really I just look like a yacht in full sail pitching about on a stormy sea) I always think how wonderful it must be to have feet of snow to play in or shelter from – it's a real winter, not the namby-pamby excuse we have here – why last year there wasn't enough frost to wear my yaktrax on our morning walks – not even once! Keep on enjoying your firelight and hand quilting time, spring will come in due course and summer will follow, with those Adirondack chairs pulled up to view your beautiful blue lake……..

    • Your “yacht in full sail” analogy cracked me up! I’ll keep the glamorous image of you, if you don’t mind! Yes, I’ve had to drag Pollyanna out lately, to get through this crazy month of March. But NO one appreciates spring and summer, when they eventually get here, more than people who live through a real, long winter!

      • I can well imagine that to be so! And I look forward to hearing the shouts of joy when something warmer arrives. I appreciate you holding a glamorous image of me – in reality I exude what my children lovingly refer to as a slightly ruffled, off-kilter image ………. 🙂

  9. Well, I can see it’s all a matter of perspective, and you got the positive attitude, towards an endless winter! 🙂

    • Ha! We lived in Buffalo for years and it ALWAYS snowed on the St. Patrick’s Day parade! Always. And those little girls would be out there, with their curls, trying to do the step dances, in the snow. Pitiful . . .

  10. Kerry – as I was sitting in the sunshine in Florida, I read this post aloud to my sister & sister-in-law, and tears of laughter were flowing down all three faces! I loved your comparisons of north & south! I am totally enjoying the temporary relief of winter but wouldn’t trade the North Country for anything! Awesome blog today!!!

    • Oh, Carol–I took your name in vain, at sewing, when I heard you were in Florida!! Lucky you! It’s so cold here, like 10 degrees this morning. We’ll try to do better, for your homecoming . . .

  11. Oh my gosh, I thank you for the chuckles I had reading this. It is truly a great piece of writing. It hit 80 here today, I walked at the Brookgreen Gardens for exercise, the pollen had me wiping my eyes and my nose all day, the car is yellow, the darn birds were chirping, and the dogwoods are blooming. I just hope the snow stops long enough for us to drive home when we leave on the 27th. 🙂

    • Thank you, Judy! It sounds like you’re really suffering down there . . . poor you. Here’s hoping that, by the time you come home, we ALL have some spring weather!

    • Glad I could make you laugh–but you didn’t believe a word of it, did you? I really do like winter, in its place, but this is getting a little out of hand . . .

      • Oh yes, I believe it for I lived in Md before I was married and daughter took care of my Mom through a winter…., I think that is why we enjoyed it so much . There are some things I do miss about winter,but I miss the fall time more.

  12. I have read through some of the comments and I have to admit I did not lol, what I find funny is that I did not find it funny. I had to go back and reread, I’m wondering, what did I miss? I thought the post was brilliant and beautifully written and deeply introspective. Cleverly whimsical, it totally highlighted the beauty and majesty of the great north and snow compared to warmer climates…an ode to snow. One of my daughters just moved to Fairbanks, AK and is still waist deep in glorious snow! Needless to say, I loved this post!

    • I had the same reaction! I live in Manitoba and I adore this season! It’s flirting with zero right now, the air is cool and crisp, and though there is plenty of snow on the ground a shawl is all you need. Every face has a smile on it and there is nary a mosquito to be found. Perfection!

    • I think people who live in the warmer climes can’t quite imagine that we could *seriously* love winter so they are more apt to see this as humorous. I am of mixed feelings right now about winter–I do like it very much but . . . I’m ready for a good thaw.

  13. Pingback: Addendum to It’s A Pity | Love Those "Hands at Home"

  14. I also enjoyed this and imagined you writing some of this post through gritted teeth! We have had snow all day, but not too heavy, and such strong winds that most of it has blown away. The daffodils were just starting to revive after the last snow and now they are bowed down and battered, poor things! I hope spring does eventually arrive for you and you don’t regret the loss of your regular shovelling work-out! I love the photo of the prone snow-angeller – just too funny!

  15. Hang in there, Kerry. It really does look very beautiful, and you certainly made me smile. If I’m honest, I don’t much want the summer yet; I’d settle happily for a spell of spring. But I can certainly understand that longing for winter to move along. It’s surely outstayed its welcome this year 🙂

    • Spring is usually very short here–we seem to jump straight from winter to summer. I like the transitions best–spring and fall. Maybe I like them because they are short and all the more sweet because of that.

  16. I know you are being tongue-in-cheek, but It’s kind of true, too. When you put it this way, I feel heroic living where I do. It did make me laugh. I will have to try this out on my daughter, who told me she couldn’t relate to my post on 10 Good Things About March. She really has to escape the March of the North if only for a weekend. Do you mind if I reblog your post?

  17. Thank you for this tongue-in-cheek perspective on later winter/early spring as one more nor’easter approaches the Boston area! I planted a bunch of crocii last fall and hope/trust they are waiting under the snow until sun melts all of our snow…

  18. I once heard a comedian do a whole routine on why women have a much easier life than men. His name was Blacka Ellis and by the time he finished his act, many women in the room were convinced (for just a moment, mind you) that we had a much easier life than men.
    Your argument reminds me of his. And once again, I am here thinking (but very briefly, mind you) how bad those poor southerners have it.
    But I’m snapping out of it now – thank God. You nearly had me fooled!

    • Ha! But you know, even though I envy southerners some of their warmth, I really wouldn’t trade my northern life for theirs. I love the changing seasons and I think we appreciate spring, when it arrives, SO much more than they do!

  19. Being a New Englander by birth, I do miss certain aspects of the colder, snowier winters back there. I am blessed, however, with now living in a location where it is green where I am in winter; I can look up and see snow in the higher elevations, and even drive up there if I wish. Sometimes we get snow here, although it generally does no last very long.

  20. I love your “making lemonade” post, Kerry. I will politely avoid telling you what I’m wearing, what I just did in the garden, and how warm Tessa’s coat is when I pet her.

    Sigh. Spring is coming for you…I just know it.

  21. Pingback: Winter’s Silver Lining | Love Those "Hands at Home"

  22. Don’t know how I missed this the first time, glad that your post today (January 5, 2019) linked to it.

    The lack of bugs sounds good. BUT how do y’all stand long sleeves all the time?! It is way too easy to get the cuffs wet when you are trying to do something simple like rinse out a cocoa cup, and if you push them up out of your way, they just immediately fall back down again. You can *try* rolling them up but they still fall down. Drives me crazy. And I only have to wear them like 4 days out of the year. 🙂

    • Well, you’re right that sleeves can be annoying! Maybe my arms are chubbier than yours or maybe I’ve chosen different t-shirts–I can push mine up and make them stick. But then I get chilly and down they come, and then up, and then down . . .

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