Friday, March 18, 2011

March, I hate you

airing out the quilt after a month of sickness:
the first clothesline photo of the season!

March in Maine is not my favorite. In fact, I consider it the armpit of the year, with very little to recommend it. It can be cruel and demoralizing to live in Maine in March: the warmth and light return, and just when you begin to let yourself hope for spring, you are soundly walloped by a snap of cold or sleety rain. There's a sense of looking over my shoulder nervously, waiting for the smack.
"But what about November?" you ask. Well. November is elegant in its bleakness. The study in grays and blacks and browns feels like a painting. The clouds and sunsets are complex purpley gray worlds. There is the anticipation of snow. November is a class act.

What we have now, March, is pretty ugly. The snow has mostly melted, but there are a few patches left: dirty and mangy and ill-tempered like a dog you'd secretly like to kick, if you weren't an animal-lover. We have mud. Sometimes icy mud. Sticks and rocks all over the lawn. Thawing chicken poop in the yard. We have sodden snowpants and mittens heavy with their wetness and about ten pounds of dirt. Wet, odoriferous boots.
organic oranges. eating sunshine.
We also have illness. Illness which has morphed from and into new and amazing types of germs in our family. No one has vomited, but I think we have run the gamut of most other symptoms from mild to high fevers to pack-a-day coughing fits to strep throat. And lots of other things in between.

Do you have the picture yet?

Here is the one thing March has going for it: maple syrup making time. (Grudgingly offered.)

Thankfully, I do have friends.
The best kind of friends, who see a pair of bright red rubber gloves with little chicken embellishments and think of me. Let me tell you, the package doesn't lie: "Caution: Use of this product has been known to cause laughter. Guaranteed to class up your day." Wearing these gloves could also inspire an outfit-change. Heels might have to be dug out of the far reaches of my closet. And apron will most definitely be worn, and in fact, perhaps I need an apron designed specially to coordinate with these gloves.
And a friend who can't make just one pie. Or leave it undecorated. Beautiful apple pie with whole wheat pastry crust delivered to my door one morning. Really, the best.

We are also blessed by live music in the house. Even when it sometimes feels like just another chore to practice.


  1. Well one day, Iris, you must ditch the Maine March and come for a NZ March, because it's really beautiful soft late summer light, warm days but cooler nights so it's easier to sleep, and the tourist season is tailing off. It's a great time to be in this part of the world.
    And I have to say, making Maple Syrup sounds like the most exotic, glamorous, and North-North-American thing I can think of. Get well soon everyone...

  2. good good post ms. i!
    cheered me up a bit just to wallow with you.
    yes march is a cruel cruel beast.
    and right now it is snowing....hmpf.