In the Paddock

The sound of the snowplows outside the window started relatively early, at least by “offseason” standards here in Saratoga. Up and down the nearby streets they went as the coffee pot in the kitchen bubbled and burped.

Circular. Henry. North.

Circular. Henry. North.

Circular. Henry. North.

Sometimes I feel like the boss of the guys driving the snowplows lives in the area as the plows plow on, sometimes long after the snow stops and while other streets aren’t touched. The latter fact is easy to see, just go for a run on any of the city streets and roads a few hours after the snow stops. As for the sidewalks? Forget about that, that’s a completely different story here in Saratoga.

You know that old saying about unpredictable weather? The one that goes something like, “if you don’t like the weather now, wait five minutes because it will change?” Yes, that one. Well, that’s about as close to reality here in the (what wasn’t until Friday) great white north of Saratoga.

A little more than a week removed from walking down Broadway in only a tennis shoes, jeans and full zip hoodie over a t-shirt, for a late-afternoon Death Wish caffeine fix at Saratoga Coffee Traders, and just two days from going for a run around town in shorts and a light long-sleeve dry fit shirt, winter returned in earnest overnight Thursday into Friday.

The forecast called for 1 to 3 inches. That much was on the ground by 6 a.m., stacking on the picnic table and canoe in the backyard. The wind, which wasn’t as bad as most of the state and probably not enough to qualify what we got here as a true nor’easter, pasted some of the snow to the sides of trees, houses, fence posts, street signs and just about anything vertical.

The good run of mild weather made many here start thinking about spring, even though in our minds we say, “not so fast” as large swaths of ground are finally clear of the snow and ice that fell and early January and locked in.

“Happy spring,” someone said last week at the Henry Street Taproom, the doors on the new addition open wide for folks to enjoy a late afternoon pint in the fresh air.

“Not so fast,” someone else said, knowing full well we were blasted by a big snowfall in the middle of March last year.

The shovels, snowblowers and plows – there goes another, down North, right on Circular, left on Henry, twice in the last 2 minutes – are not about to be packed up for the year. We can’t do that until at least the anniversary of the mid-March blast of 2017.

Until then we’ll hunker down, watch the snow from the window, grab a book and a bourbon and dream about warm spring days and cool spring night. We won’t jump ahead and think about summer just yet. We wouldn’t want Mother Nature to say, not so fast.