Grit Blogs > The Theoretical Farmers Almanack

The Town That Winter Forgot

Broadway, VA                        70 degrees                                                12:13 pm 

Fatigue is the best pillow.  – Ben Franklin 

TRF Cullers head shotI don’t think the robins ever left. There have been at least two orange-breasted fowls in my backyard since last summer. This morning, they were holding a conference around a piece of dried bread I threw out for the sparrows. I believe their internal clocks are a bit befuddled since we, for all intents and purposes, did not have a proper winter.

The robins are not the only perplexed creatures scratching their heads and wondering if global warming has slipped through a time warp and is covering us in a blanket of unnatural warmness. The mosquitoes have also formed a coup and are attacking human flesh. They appear to have an extra dose of bravery since winter did not freeze their troops out this year.

Human creatures also seem to be off kilter. We lost an hour's worth of sleep this week, and that can probably count for some of the general lethargy. But there’s something more to the sluggishness — a sort of unbalance, like a shutter becoming unhinged or a cupboard drawer off its track. I suppose if you live in a tropical climate and are used to warm weather all the time, you don’t miss the cool, calm chill that a true winter brings. But this is the only instance in my lifetime that winter simply didn’t show up. 

I see the winter months as a sort of Sabbath. A time apart from the general ruckus of daily life. Everything slows down — everything from bug larvae to human commotion takes a hiatus. But this year, we didn’t have that break here in the Shenandoah Valley. We continued, full steam ahead, hoping for a blizzard or an ice storm to grind our actions to a halt. But inclement weather didn’t come. And here we are, tired, puzzled and wondering how we are going to keep up the momentum until next December when, hopefully, seasonal temperatures find us.