We've never had a fireplace before moving to this old house, and we rather like it, even though it's probably more work than its worth, heating-wise. But March has been January, an endless January this year. On Sunday I walked to the hiking trails just west of our place but saw very little of the world I was in until I got into the trees. Mostly, my head was down like a mourner, my watery eyes on the whatever was beneath my feet because a stinging, constant northwest wind--with us for a month, at least, it seemed--just about sculpted my face into a perpetual frown. And let me remind you, Sunday was, via the calendar, a couple days after the first day of spring.
So last week we went through a bunch of wood, not because we needed the heat but because, dang it, it felt darn good when the thermometer registered the kind of paralyzing temps it's been doing with sickening regularity. This little fire took the edge off the cold two nights ago, when once again the world outside our door was chillin' in single digits.
We may well get ourselves a fireplace in the new place, because there's something really sweet and pleasant about sitting in front of one, once come those chills march in. The fact is, I rather like it snapping away, as long as it doesn't put too many ember-scars in the Wal-Mart rug we've got down in front of the screen. It's cool because it's not.
But yesterday in Sioux City, Iowa, March 26, 2013, the temperature actually edged above 40 for first time in a thousand months. It may well be a gamble to hope, but I'm guessing that maybe, just maybe, spring will finally come to free us from the prison we've been in for far too long.
We haven't suffered, really. I mean, this hasn't been an awful winter, the really big storms veering north--and south!--and avoiding us, for the most part. We had one bad Sunday when the fireplace roared and we never got out a step. Only once could I take the grandkids out on tubes behind the four-wheeler. Otherwise, the snow's been manageable--I didn't have to hire anyone to dig us out of this wonderful old farm place.
But it's been waaaaaaaaaaaay long. It's been forever. And I, for one, am willing to call this pretty little fire here our last for the winter, if, quid pro quo, we can finally peel back the layers and walk out into sweet spring warmth. Wouldn't that be great? The warm joy of the fireplace, for just a little of it outside.
I know--come July, I'll be wishing for November.
No matter. This morning's thanks are for spring, assuming we'll really get it. Today?--maybe, just maybe, 50 big bright bold degrees. Maybe.