I dream of sandcastles, sun-drenched weekends, balmy breezes and barbecues.
But winter still holds us in its cold, hard grasp.
A week before Easter in late March, I see little signs of the new season, although the groundhog predicted an early spring.
Leaving work Thursday night in a blizzard, I prayed all the way home.
Pelted by wild, wind-driven snow, my sports car crawled. There was little visibility or traction; and the lanes of the highway were obscured by several inches of snow.
Yet the forecast was flurries. Go figure.
Today is sunny at Fogland State Beach, belying the biting gale outside the truck window. It feels more like a day in January.
We watch the surf slam the shore for a few seconds before we hear it. The angry wind is sandblasting our vehicle.
My husband cranks the starter, and the powerful Dodge Ram Hemi propels us in breakneck speed atop the frozen sand.
We like our navy blue paint just fine.
Heading up High Hill Road to the summer place, we park in the backyard and immediately notice something is wrong with the boat.
The black cover for the Tohatsu engine, that was duct-taped and tied with rope, has gone missing.
We scour the yard and search the farmland that abuts the property – all to no avail.
During our last visit here, we found the boat antenna had snapped in half. It hangs eerily overhead as we contemplate this winter’s escapades.
Tree limbs still decorate the lawn, and I notice a tabby cat weaving her way around them. Her yellow coat is a bright spot of color in the dull grey-brown backdrop of broken branches, stunted lawn and drooping sea grass.
We begin to back up when I see the daffodils waving furiously, as if to catch our attention. Holding onto their roots for dear life, they seem confused and in utter amazement at the world they’ve grown up into. Snow still clings to the trunk of a tree nearby.
As we drive away, the summer house looks forlorn; and it’s hard to imagine that in less than two months we will be back for another season in the sun.
But in the interim, we will continue to wear our woolen coats, fur-lined boots, scarves and gloves. Snow is predicted for Monday.
Nevertheless, we’ve learned an invaluable lesson: Never trust a groundhog.