Rendered Fat Content


Most observers figure this will be the last storm of the season. Well, the last big storm, but nobody really knows. Arctic air still roams freely south of the Mason-Dixon Line and tropical moisture hasn’t had its hall pass revoked yet. Get those two delinquents together and it’s anybody’s guess.

The Last Storm brings a touch of nostalgia with it. I’m always on alert when the Weather Service issues a Storm Watch. I become, well, watchful, I guess, anticipating the morning’s shoveling duties, making sure the long underwear’s laid out, double checking the old boots and the supply of ice melt. I triple check the larder lest I find myself without milk, beer, or fresh salad greens, the three primary food groups of this transition season.

The idea that this might not be The Last Storm, though, cuts an unclear line across the horizon. I can safely wait before grooming the garden. The ladybugs might need another week’s cover. The Bleeding Hearts might need that wine box’s careful protection. The patio’s just gonna get trashed again when the winds blow every bleeding dry oak leaf underneath the furniture again. I’ll wait until next weekend to refurbish the gas grill. I’m watchful, but not romantically so; on hold.

I quietly revel in this uncertainty. I cannot know and I’m not fretting about my ignorance. I worked with the doors open yesterday. Today, they’re closed up tight and the cats have resumed their easy hibernation. The Muse drags her hind foot, oblivious as usual to the storm front easing in over us. We should have been out and back by now, but her schedule so often pushes her out the weekday door before she’s ready to go, I cannot bear to shove on the weekends.

Once all threat of winter storms blows away, the spring storms will appear. Tropical moisture unblunted by the arid arctic air, the sky will explode with roiling thunder, and the wet wind will whip the ancient trees, and the rain will streak down in sheets. There’s no preparing for those storm fronts. They drench and scour, but the sidewalks won’t need salting and the driveway won’t demand scraping, and the passenger door won’t freeze shut, forcing The Muse to ride in the backseat all the way to The Metro station or back.

©2014 by David A. Schmaltz - all rights reserved

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