Julia M. Dendinger
Assistant Editor

A little more than two weeks ago, the celestial mechanics of the universe shifted and voila, it was spring.

More precisely, it is spring. Sort of.

There’s been a number of what I can only assume are fruit trees of some sort that have bloomed — fluffy white, pink and burgundy flowers are a welcome visual relief from the brown winter landscape.

My friends (and enemies) with allergies are suffering to various degrees, and the birds are chirping and tweeting at an aggressive volume in the early morning hours.

Spring is a time of renewal, rebirth and daffodils. It’s also, for many of us, known as Wardrobe: Impossible.

Since the seasonal shift, I think I’ve had two, maybe three, days where I was Goldilocks just right. The rest were either too hot or too cold.

Jeans and a sweatshirt in the mid 70s, toe-exposing sandals and cropped pants with it hovering in the low 50s.

Even today, Monday, the day I found my car doors frozen shut, has been a challenge. April 1 wasn’t fooling, with just enough rain and low temperatures to give my vehicle a candy coating of ice.

I was smart enough to check my semi-useful weather app before I left the house and saw it was 28 degrees, with a predicted high of 61.

After standing in my closet and proclaiming my hate for clothes, weather, mornings and the cat, I finally emerged. A skirt, with boots and a sleeveless shirt layered with a short-sleeved hoodie.

As I write this, it’s just after 10 a.m. and the app says it’s 38 degrees. Oh and now it’s telling me to expect a high of 65, so maybe I got my sartorial choice more right than wrong. Maybe.

Some lucky folks got snow on Sunday, whereas we got a nice quiet rain, followed by a night of freezing temperatures.

My sincere hope is this little cold snap did in the weeds that seem overly enthusiastic about taking up residence in my yard. If not, I bought poison. I’m not messing around this year.

This bump and shuffle of late winter and early spring does bring more than just wardrobe challenges.

Heavy clouds to the east held back the sun for quite some time, causing me to keep double check the clock to make sure I really needed to be awake.

The drive into work Monday morning was eerie and a bit spooky with the patchy fog laying in the valley. Things seems closer and larger. The mountains were hidden, I think, but there was something on the eastern horizon that loomed through the mist from time to time.

The mesas on the west were alternating closed off with fog and dappled with sunlight. It gave me an oddly claustrophobic sensation as I drove.

In my constant commuting from home to work, I’ve noticed the weird weather does have a pattern, at least on my stretch of the highway.

It starts out bad at my house, lousy visibility, poor road conditions, what have you, depending on the type of inclement weather. Then as I get closer to Belen, there’s a break just before the river bridge.

Once I’m on the bridge though, the river does its thing and creates a mini weather event right there.

Monday was no exception. The fog cleared and I could see across the llano, but the mountains were still cloaked in clouds.

Turning onto the bridge, I could see a wall of fog about half way down, but once I was over it, Belen appeared, like some Southwestern Brigadoon.

A cap of clouds blocked off my view of the west mesa and circled to the south, seemingly cutting off the city from the rest of the world.

Of course, this being New Mexico, when I got to the office minutes later, the sun was out in full force, the clouds were scattering and the birds were at their full-throated worst.

It was still cold though, and the breeze made me definitely rethink my skirt choice. My weather app seems confident we’ll see 65 today, so I have some hope. If not, there’s always next year to get it right.

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Julia M. Dendinger began working at the VCNB in 2006. She covers Valencia County government, Belen Consolidated Schools and the village of Bosque Farms. She is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists Rio Grande chapter’s board of directors.