The past two winters have been rough ones. Lots of snow, single-digit temperatures that would not let up. That isn't normal. Usually we'll have a couple of two- to four-inch snows in a winter, and several times when the ground will be barely covered; around here, it's hardly worth investing in a sled for the kiddies. There will normally be a few frigid days followed by a warmup into the fifties or sixties: That's when those of us with motorcycles will sneak in a ride and say we cheated winter. Of course, on those unseasonably warm winter days, the same wind that blew the warm front in is often still blowing so hard that a motorcycle ride isn't that pleasant, so we make it a brief ride.
During the past two winters there were no motorcycle rides; not a single one.
Right now it's a frigid fifteen degrees with a forecast high of thirty-seven; there's a promise of temperatures in the fifties in a couple of days.
A normal winter.
For the past three years, at some point in January I've bought little seed-starting kits and started my pepper and tomato plants in the house. The first year it was great fun. The second year, it was OK. Last year it was drudgery, toting those trays around the house to the best sunny spot.
I had a reason for doing it, though. Most of the places where I had always bought my plants no longer had the economical little six-packs. Walmart and Colonial Nursery only had single plants or two-packs of half-grown plants, and they were pricey.
Last year I discovered that Hilltop Farm and Greenhouse was selling the six-plant packs. I'm counting on them this year, so I hope they don't let me down. I'm hoping for a better garden than I had last year. What with the knee replacement and a bad tomato season, it was pitiful. I think I only had borscht one time, and no ratatouille at all.
I ought to have a good day today; for the first time in months, I slept straight through the night for seven hours.