Paying for it

I hope many of you remember the magnificent weather we were blessed with for much of mid-January.

I know it wasn’t a complete anomaly for I recall last year at about the same time hearing a bunch of locals say how grateful they were to have passed up their usual winter trek south. They had no reason to leave for the roads were open and dry (mostly) and days were frequently bright if not exactly sunny.

Jan. 21 stands out particularly in memory for my car thermometer said it was 63 degrees (balmy indeed) in the late afternoon. Leaving “Romeo and Juliet” I had to stop to listen to a tree full of singing birds. What a blessing indeed! (It didn’t quite reach the big 6-0 in Cassadaga. We still had snow on the ground.)

But oh! My excitement was obvious. “Isn’t this the loveliest day?” “Can you remember a January as good as this one’s been?” And on I continued to any who’d stop briefly (people are polite) to listen.

And yet, what, without exception, was the rejoinder?

“You know we’re going to pay for it.”

Hadn’t the “Bah! Humbug!” season passed?

Of course we’ll “pay for it” — if paying means that winter is definitely coming back. And it sounds like that’s quite soon as I type this on Jan. 23.

It is January as I write — March when you read this and I imagine we’re probably still “paying for it.” Traditionally the last of the worst should play itself out soon, in time for one last hit on St. Patrick’s Day weekend. (As newcomers from California, my family chose that time to explore Buffalo’s Science Museum. Lovely drive up from Warren, two days to get home.)

Is that, however, any reason not to particularly enjoy the breathers Mother Nature does occasionally deal out? It may snow in May (I’ve seen that too) but that’s hardly a reason not to appreciate the green — OK, brown — lawn now.

Sometimes I feel like a Pollyanna continually spreading bits of unfiltered sunshine with my happy outlook. If you want the truth (as I know it), I’m far more of a realist than that. Still, isn’t “partly sunny” better than “partly cloudy”?

I wrote not terribly long ago about weathering a severe loss. I was reminded of that when overhearing and watching two young women (girls, I call them) shopping for their new puppy. Treats, toys, special food, all excitedly placed in their shopping cart. How I envied them the joy they shared (even further than they knew).

Oh, sure. I suppose I could have stopped longer than to extend my congratulations and wishes for great happiness to come. I could have gone on to warn them of the vet bills in the future, possibly at times threatening their limited incomes. I could have told them that the day lay somewhere in the future when their baby would grow up, age and then die. I could have described in much detail the hole that leaves in one’s heart.

Oh, come now. I could as easily tell you … or you … or even you not to bother to love. The pain of loss can indeed seem unbearable. Don’t, in fact, feel anything at all. You’d be spared so much unhappiness.

If someone were to say any of those things to me, I’d be tempted to haul off and sock them. Days are bright. Days are dark. All of one extreme or the other would be stultifying.

It’s enough just to wake up each morning, eager (if admittedly sleepily) to face whatever comes.

Susan Crossett has lived outside Cassadaga for more than 20 years. A lifetime of writing led to these columns as well as two novels. “Her Reason for Being” was published in 2008 with “Love in Three Acts” following in 2014. Information on all the Musings, her books and the author may be found at