Dog Days of Winter

February 24, 1993

Shakespeare wrote of "the winter of our discontent," but what of our discontent with winter?

The professional weather-watchers can tell us all they want about how we don't get the "big ones" anymore, or how this Baltimore winter has been warmer than the norm -- save for that recent Friday of record cold or the Sunday snowstorm that forgot to turn to rain. Or yesterday's frigid blast.

Does that mean we're supposed to be enjoying the bleak, inky grayness that bleeds the color from the sky most days, especially most weekends?

Or, that we should view one more collective sniffle from the millions of us as another step toward regionalism and "big tent" inclusion?

Or, that balmy, breezy spring evenings, perhaps spent cracking peanut shells and sipping refreshment at Camden Yards, are really overrated?

Editorial pages maintain a strong desire to be a sounding board for divergent points of view. But we're struggling mightily to understand people who can maintain a sunny disposition and even rejoice in the midst of such a meteorological mess.

We might even be able to understand those who relish, say, the rare 20-inch snowfall, for the suspense, the togetherness, even the beauty of such an event. But the piddling, soggy storms of this season -- some ice, a little snow, mostly slush -- have been nuisances that barely left enough dry white residue for sleigh riding. Up over the Mason-Dixon the other day, poor Puxsutawney Phil emerged from his burrow, got splashed by a passing bus and ran home to pull the covers over his furry head.

We're tired of this. We're ready for spring. For daffodils. And nature's perfume of romance. For love. And baseball. (Whichever comes first.) For peppermint sticks in lemons at the Mount Vernon flower mart. For community carnivals. For convertibles with the tops down. For ice cream cones and sunset strolls after dinner.

Global warming? It can't come quickly enough for us.

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