I had to replace the caulking in my bathroom over the weekend, so I popped into Ace Hardware for supplies. It was still chilly out, but at least it was raining and not snowing.
Last time I was in Ace, the store was littered with the last remnants of the holiday season. Christmas lights and ornaments were listed at very deep discounts and they had snow shovels and rock salt prominently displayed as you walked in. Inflatable lawn figures were still available, only now they were inside their boxes instead of displayed in their full, puffed-up glory. Outside, lined up like soldiers, were fully assembled snow blowers. Spring was nowhere to be found.
Not anymore. This visit revealed spring fertilizer and Top Soil as soon as you walked in. Outdoor lawn furniture had replaced Rudolph and Frosty the Snowman. There were gardening tools, “Welcome” mats and spring-themed flag displays. Out front, assembled barbecues had replaced the snow blowers.
Please understand that no one wants to declare this winter over more than me. Spring Training games are on TV, crocuses are starting to sprout up and we already made the jump to Daylight Saving Time, so we’re getting closer, right? Add in the fact that Ralph’s Famous Ices is open again and you have to at least be thinking about it. If we get a couple of days with temperatures in the 50s, well, I just don’t want to jinx it.
We were blessed by Boreas, the God of winter, with very little accumulating snow this season, so you can’t get any better than that. Here we are with just one day left before spring and I haven’t used my snow blower all winter. I can’t remember the last time that happened.
I’m no dummy. I know that it still snows in late March or April, but that can easily be followed by 60-degree weather. We’re no longer looking at six straight days of sub-zero temperature or one snow storm followed by another. We got through it, Long Island. We survived another winter.
Ack, did I just say that out loud? Goodness, what have I done?
I’m a fairly superstitious person by nature. If I’m in the car with you, you’ll never hear me say, “Gee, the traffic is great today.” I’ve been known to stay in the same seated position without moving while watching a ballgame the Mets are winning. I know it’s ridiculous that a grown man thinks he can influence the outcome of a sporting event just because of the seat he is sitting in or the TV he is watching it on, but it works for me and I’m not about to challenge the Baseball Gods.
Maybe I’ve said too much already and should have just kept my big mouth shut. Let’s change the subject, shall we? Hey, I just bought one of those soda-stream devices to make seltzer whenever I want. Let me tell you, these things are great. No more flat, lifeless seltzer because someone didn’t close the cap tight enough. It’s almost like having seltzer on demand. It’s like, it’s like…
Who am I kidding? The cat is out of the bag, dear readers. A few years ago, I blabbered about the Montauk Music Festival as Long Island’s best kept secret. Now, you can’t get a room there anymore during that weekend. I think I might have put the kibosh on this end of winter thing. Instead of enjoying the last few weeks of March and early April, I’ll be stressing over how I may have ruined it for all of us. Why, oh why, was I blessed with such talent?
Maybe good old Boreas will go easy on me this time. There’s no reason to punish everyone because of me, is there? Superstitions are always better kept to oneself. Otherwise you might be sitting in the wrong chair and cost the Mets a ballgame.
Paul DiSclafani, a Massapequa resident, is a 2018 Press Club of Long Island award-winning columnist and an Anton Media Group contributor since 2016.