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John D.  MacArthur Beach State Park, Florida

John D. MacArthur Beach State Park, Florida

I’ve written before how much I love the ocean and how I count a year as good if I get to spend time on the beach. By that reckoning, 2014 should be shaping up to be a good one.

I spent a day in late February basking in 80 degree sunshine on the beach at John D. MacArthur Beach State Park in Florida.

Mangrove roots in Biscayne National Park

Mangrove roots in Biscayne National Park

On our trip, my husband and I also watched pelicans as we ate conch fritters on Alabama Jack’s restaurant deck on our way north from Key Largo, canoed through mangroves at Biscayne National Park, and viewed Biscayne Bay from the Viscaya Museum & Gardens in Miami.

Viscaya Museum & Gardens, Miami

Viscaya Museum & Gardens, Miami

I wore shorts and t-shirts and sandals. No socks from the time I got off the airplane until the morning we headed home.

It was a good week. I shucked off the miasma of winter I’d been accruing since November.

Then we returned to winter in Kansas City. We froze as we stood outside the airport waiting for a taxi.

And less than a week after our return from Florida, we shoveled four inches of sleet and snow in single-digit temperatures with wind chills well below zero. The thermometer hit record lows for March.

Husband running snowblower in frigid cold and wind

Husband running snowblower in frigid cold and wind

If winter lasts much longer, maybe 2014 won’t be such a good year. My mood changes with the sunlight and temperature.

Spring has to come sometime, I tell myself every day. But I doubt even that truism, when the clouds loom low overhead and the wind slices through my heaviest coat.

By the time you read this post, maybe the latest polar vortex will have receded back to Canada. But I don’t think I’ll feel Florida’s warmth any time soon, except in my memories and photographs.

Still, spring has to come sometime. Doesn’t it?

How are you coping with our lengthy winter this year?

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