David Stone
Slammed into the deep freeze, and then...
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Forget for a moment, if you can, that the temperature this morning is 5 degrees and the windchill around -10. Dress warm, stay in as much as you can, and look ahead for relief.

Sure, the temperature is not going to get out of the teens today, but by Saturday, a high in mid 30s is going to seem balmy. When a string of 50 degree days starts out on Monday, no one will blame you if you began considering sun screen options and the promise of beach parties and barbecues to come.

When yesterday's fierce, mercifully brief snow squall raced across five boroughs at mid-afternoon, it reminded me of my first exposure, as a kid, when a lake effect blast out of Western New York buried our upstate neighborhood in three inches in under an hour.

I loved it. I was a kid. What did I know?

Slammed into the deep freeze, and then...

When the snow stopped, I went out into the unexpected drifts blown across our driveway. The clouds had gone away as swiftly as the snow shower had. A brilliant sun in a clear blue sky on a crisp winter day is as beautiful a thing as there is to find on a normal winter day.

But the story is that, fast or slow, it does end. 

I could see the veil of fierce snow disappearing into the foothills across the valley. And I could see summer and baseball too.

And for those of us who follow, pitchers and catchers in just two weeks is the first genuine sign of spring.

As proof, I offer you next week's forecast. After Sunday's mid-40s high melts off the linger snow, expect 50 on Monday and, believe it or not, near 60 on Tuesday with more mild weather following.

On the other hand, it'll be the first week of February. No matter what any groundhog sees on Saturday, we'll have cold days ahead.

Each one, though, is one step closer to spring, then summer.

My T-shirt drawer is getting a little skimpy. Are cargo shorts really that awful looking...?

It makes me warm, just thinking about it.