Unless you are house bound in Maine due to an injury, surgery, extreme old age or a streak of less than stellar weather patterns, you are outside all four seasons.
Sometimes for pleasure. Other times for a labor of love on a Maine farm. Shoveling new fallen snow off the roof of a woods cabin, a lake cottage. Or removing the porch snow load of your dwelling.Helping a neighbor or shut in with the same duties around their house with snow loads. But spring comes hard in Maine. Not a clean predictable start like a Labor or Memorial Day signal.
But often the end of a Maine season like winter is the hardest transition.
Because you are ready for spring. But hold your horses. Can’t do outside yard work with those won’t let go go go disappearing snow banks. Where the snow is not white and fluffy, new. But more dirty snow cone, ice mix consistency. So no raking the lawn. Washing off the house grime off. Or starting the gardens of flowers and vegetables. Outside anyway. Can you rent a flame thrower?
The black potting soil, white perlite specs in the brown peat pots. Line card tables, kitchen and glass porch window sills covered in old newspapers. The green peppers, tomatoes are started inside. To transplant into the tilled garden when it has dried out and a seed bed is created for the tasty inhabitants to check in. Many to stay, hang around until the fall harvest canning, preserving routine.
But Maine cabin fever happens when you have skied, snow shoed and sledded, ice fished, pond hockey ice skated enough.
Same with moving, shoveling winter snows to clear driveways, parking lots. Enough. And ready for green grass, spring canoe and kayak races to start populating the weekend calendar slots. Budding trees, early flowers, lilacs and returning spring songbirds as the sunshine is longer, stronger.
Wanting, longing to wash outside windows, rake gravel from snow plow trucks off the lawn. To pull out the patio furniture, gas grill and screw on the outside water hose. But not yet.
Some folks decide to zip away for a vacation where the water is blue and green. The music island like with steel drums.
Drinks sweet, rum based. With a leaning umbrella or piece of fresh fruit hitch hiking on the rim. Yeah mon. Nice tourist shirt colors you’re sporting Bub. Or being disciplined to do inside painting, remodeling, wallpaper jobs at the Maine home. If outside weather means you are in a no fly zone today. Something other than short stints on the couch to watch a movie, sporting event, heavy duty snacking out of boredom.
Take a walk through a small Maine town.
No matter what the current weather. I don’t know about you but I love being out “in the weather”. Dressed for it. But whether a down pour of cats and dogs rain buckets in summer drenchings when the clouds open up wide. A blinding curtain of big, heavy fat snow flakes in sheets, waves.
When you can barely see the hand in front of your face. As you walk to the movies, play production. Window shop without customers to compete with or bump into. Go out to eat in a small Maine downtown during a Maine winter Northeaster. Or windy fall gusts howling with crackling dry orange, red, yellow leaves whipped, stirred around. Swirling as trees get bent over backwards, undressed, stripped of foliage. We live in Maine, not amateurs to weather maps of all kinds. Bring it.
The Maine Maple Syrup Sundays at nearly 100 sugar shacks fill the down time away from work all help. So does time at that Maine camp playing cribbage, making feeds for the family, buddies. While a center wood stove heater or cook stove drives you out. To shed clothing. Makes you leave the outside door open because too many logs thrown into the fire box. And you dream about the next season in Maine when stuck in the in between of one that comes hard after one that does not give up easily.