An ill wind…..

The unrelenting easterly seabreeze that has been blowing at 20-30 miles per hour 24/7 for the past five days has reminded us that “spring” is an ephemeral term for those of us who live along the Massachusetts coastline.

The temperature has refused to climb beyond 50 degrees — thanks to a water temperature of 48 degrees in Boston Harbor — and the strong on-shore wind has made it feel closer to 40 degrees with the wind-chill factored in.

As usual, temperatures a little bit to our west are 10 degrees warmer. But for us, winter coats, hats, hoodies, and gloves are still the norm for any outside activity, whether it’s walking along the beach or the Charles, or attending our children’s soccer or baseball games, or enjoying a lunch at Kelly’s on Revere Beach.

On the other hand, for those of us fortunate enough to be close to the ocean, the pounding surf on the shoreline with white caps extending to the horizon have created a seascape that is mesmerizing.

The smell, sight, and sound of the churning sea consumes our senses. It never grows old.

Still, our spring along the coast has followed the usual, frustrating pattern of,  “One step forward, three steps back.”  

Mother Nature is a tease at this time of year. For each day of warmth that she bestows upon us, we must endure four or five days of chill, as if she’s daring us to plant our summer vegetable garden under the threat of a frost or a wind gust that might snap the tender shoots.

We can’t help but think that it would be nice to reserve some of these sea-breezy days for mid-July and early-August when the water temperature will be warm enough for us to enjoy the churning surf.

But the bottom line is that, to paraphrase the Bill Belichick cliche, the spring season along our coast, “Ain’t what it ain’t.” It’s always a mere chimera that taunts us.

We are all Ukrainians

It is impossible to turn away from the news reports of the ongoing war in Ukraine that we see 24/7 on our televisions and computer screens.

To be honest, we’ve had it with all of the other recent political, economic, and COVID-related commentaries that run in an endless loop ad nauseam on the news. 

We just tune them out.

But when it comes to the heartbreaking, disturbing, and infuriating coverage of all aspects of the war in Ukraine, we feel almost duty-bound to watch in order to bear witness to the genocide that the sociopath in the Kremlin has wrought upon these poor people.

Yes, perhaps we can identify with what is happening in Ukraine because so much of what we see in their lives and the lives of their children mimics our own. Some of those Ukrainian suburban streets and playgrounds could be Anytown, USA.

The recent events in Ukraine have brought to mind the occasion when President John F. Kennedy spoke in front of the Berlin Wall in 1963 and concluded his speech with the famous and inspiring words, “Ich bin ein Berliner!” — “I am a Berliner!” 

Today, peace-loving people (who presumably are all of us) across the country and the globe feel the same way about Ukraine. Hopefully, we will have the fortitude to remain resolute in our support for Ukraine and its innocent people and be willing to accept some degree of sacrifice (such as higher prices) in our personal lives in order to thwart the genocidal maniac who is destroying their country and uprooting their lives.

To paraphrase what JFK might say today: “All free people, wherever they may live, are citizens of Ukraine.”

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