The Winter That Never Was


Daffodils growing in the curb garden

Spring is technically less than a month away, but the view outside my window is shouting, spring, spring, spring!

pink hyacinth and fuchsia freesia

‘William and Kate’ Hyacinth and fuchsia Freesia

San Jose, California is more that two-thirds of the way through the winter that never was.

Initially, I gave Winter the benefit of the doubt. Though the calendar announced the arrival of winter solstice in late December, Winter decided to take his time. As a woman in her mid-fifties, I respect that. I no longer move like a twenty year old and my memory isn’t that great either. Winter, however, forgot about January entirely. No rain and above-average temps ruled the month. Winter left us high and dry, leading us into year four of our historic drought.

Okay, so December and January came and went, but surely February would live up to its winter reputation: cold, windy and wet. We’re ready.

san jose temperatures february

Source: Accuweather

As you can see by the Accuweather chart above, virtually every day this month has been warmer than average, sometimes by as much as 12 degrees. Winter says no can do.

While the rest of the country is battered by rain, wind, sleet and snow, it seems ungrateful to complain. I enjoy beautiful weather as much as the next gardener, but it feels like cheating. It’s supposed to rain in January. February is known for cold, windy days and a good splashing isn’t unheard of either. Our forests, rivers, lakes and wildlife depend on it.  Winter left town and I miss him terribly.

Winter, won’t you please come home?

Poetry and Rain: A Bit of a Ramble

rainy day

Mouse doesn’t understand why I’m outside in the rain


Dancin’ In The Rain

So what if it drizzles
And dribbles and drips?
I’ll splash in the garden,
I’ll dance on the roof.
Let it rain on my skin,
It can’t get in-
I’m waterproof.

~Shel Silverstein


The promised rainstorms arrived in earnest late last week. What a welcome relief. Locals refer to these tropical storms as the Pineapple Express. They arrive from Hawaii, drenching us in warm rains, instead of the colder storms that push down from the north. You would never know it was February.

I reveled in the refreshing, cleansing rain and I’m sorry to see it go so soon.

The week ahead promises record-breaking heat in its place. I find it disorienting adjusting to this new normal.

Poetry is Dead

[The opinions that follow are not necessarily those of the blogger, nor do they reflect the opinion of our funder.] Funder? Oh I crack myself up.

On the drive home yesterday, my youngest son mentioned his school assignment: find and memorize a poem for a poetry slam. Both he and his older brother think that poetry is dead. “No one writes Greek poetry any more, Mom.”

I happen to like poetry. I defended my opinions and pointed out that the songs they love are poetry set to music. They weren’t convinced. The conversation ended when we got out of the car. Clearly I was outnumbered. But today when I rediscovered Silverstein’s poem the memories flooded back. My boys may have forgotten all those years we snuggled with a good book (including poetry), but I know that all that early reading laid a foundation deep within their brains. I read to those boys every night, many an afternoon, in book stores and in libraries. The backseat of the car always had a stash of books and I kept tiny books in my purse.

Poetry isn’t dead. It’s merely on an extended holiday, along with the rain. In the interim, I’ll drum my fingers to the rhythm of “it’s raining, it’s pouring, the old man is snoring.” Across the room, my son’s Beats™ go on.