As I type this at the start of March, weather forecasters are tossing around phrases like “omega block,” “atmospheric bomb” and “monster” to describe a developing blizzard that has the potential to devastate a good chunk of the East Coast in five days or so.
By the time this post runs, we’ll know how accurate the predictions were.
(Edit: That storm, a few weeks ago, didn’t hit eastern Pennsylvania. But another one is bringing us two to four inches of snow today.)
It’s been a cold, gray, rainy, windy winter … and a long one, even by the standards of someone who considers himself alternately a Rust Belter or a New Englander at heart.
And I wish it would end now, if not sooner.
I do not know how to jump-start spring (or summer). Absent a candle, I open another can of beer and curse the darkness.
My grandfather seems to have had something that brought warm weather a little closer. And this was around the time of year he turned to it.
I’ve written before that tomatoes were a staple crop in my grandparents’ yard throughout my childhood. (If you missed that post last year, go read it now. It’s better than this one.)
I don’t remember my grandpa having growth lights in his basement. I’m guessing he coaxed his tomato seedlings out of the soil simply by putting them next to the sunniest window in the house and dosing them with Miracle-Gro.
But clearly, he wasn’t waiting for consistently warm weather to get his crop started.
Maybe he started his tomatoes the day after St. Patrick’s from some sense of tradition, or some old-timer’s knowledge of just the right time to do such things.
Or maybe, like me, he was fed up with winter and looking for any outlet he could find that would bring warmer weather closer.
If you can put seeds into soil and start getting them to sprout, you can feel reasonably confident that you’ll pluck ripe, warm fruit from them sometime, if not necessarily immediately.
(His calendar entries for April 3 and 4, 1975, show temps down to 30 degrees, 50-mph wind gusts, and a note about “winter’s last blast.” So he knew when he planted his tomatoes — presumably inside — that Stamford wasn’t immune to one last wintry spanking.)
I could stand a seedling or two right now to bring the promise of warmer weather. I should cut the top off this empty can of Genny Bock, fill it with soil and seeds, and park it by the window.
‘Tis better to light a candle, and all that business.