The Winter of Our Discontent?



Remember the generally snowless, mild weather of December and early January — the Winter That Was Not.

Then came the onslaught of sub-freezing, sometime near zero, temperatures and seemingly almost every other day snow or ice — not large accumulations, but enough in which they had to be dealt with.

What would you title this winter — so far, because we could have snow for another month, for example, no matter what the calendar says?

“Unending Torment or Unending Torrent, one of the two,” said Jewels Reigns of Ocean Grove.

It felt as though it was going on and on and on….

Janet Torsney, director of the Bradley Beach Public Library, got a little Shakespearean. The Winter of Discontent, Torsney said.

“People are so cranky, now,” Torsney said. “They’ve had it with the weather, the ice, the snow, the shoveling, being trapped in their houses.”

“How many mornings did I check the thermometer outside my window when I woke up and saw temps like 3, 4, 8, 10 degrees?” asked Rich Quatrone, artistic director of the Asbury Park area’s American Poetry Theater. “It was so cold that the door-handle on my Toyota snapped off.”

Quatrone titles it, The Winter of Nature’s Cold Shoulder.

“I’d call it this because this winter is a direct result of climate change,” Quatrone said. “Nature has been giving us signs for the last few years — intense storms, hurricanes, tornadoes, excessive rainfall, extreme heat waves — but we continue to ignore nature. So, nature is very much insulted and this winter it gave us the cold shoulder.”

Yes, Torsney joked, people seem to have forgotton the mildness of early winter. Is that not the way weather is? Torsney asked.

But Sharlene Edwards, the assistant director of the Bradley Beach Public Library, took into consideration this winter’s lamb and lion qualities.

Not As Bad As Last Year was Edwards’ title.

Remember last winter? The Polar Vortex sub-freezing temperatures, early and late snows, a lot of snow — almost twice as much as this year — and plowable snows.

“I don’t feel it was as cold as it was last year,” Edwards said. “I don’t have to walk my dog in a facemask this year.

“I like the snow,” Edwards said. “I’m more concerned when it’s in the single digits.”

For Janel Jones of Neptune, her title is Mother Nature Unleashes Her Cold, Heartless and Brutal Fury On New Jerseyites.

“Wow!” Jones said. “We have been through some frigid, windy, snowy and unprecedented days and nights. Pipes bursting, slip-and-fall victims, dead batteries, school closings, along with the winter weary.”

The Winter That Was Not has become A Winter to Remember.

“But,” Jones said, “Mother Nature will bestow upon us very soon well-deserved and welcoming warm and sunny days.”

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