After days of heavy rain, bitter winds, plummeting temperatures and even some snow flurries, I ventured outside this morning, briefly, like a snail poking its head from its shell to check out the surroundings.
As if to greet me, the sun came through the clouds, but the icy air soon drove me back into the warm house.
A couple of weeks ago the air was so warm I was outside working in the garden with my internal gardening engines thrumming to start on spring chores. It was premature and I knew it, just as I knew all those azaleas blooms that had started to open would soon get zapped.
Winter and spring always play a fitful tug-of-war here. By March, spring should win out.
In the meantime, I am back inside, my engines thrumming, making plans as I sit by the fire with my garden books.