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 They say that the sun in the fall here in Maine is more-or-less where it was back in March or spring, and is supposed to be as robust and strong as the sun we "enjoyed" last spring.
They say!
Here in Maine start to put on sweaters and go to football games and rake leaves and fire up our woodstoves because things start to get a tad chilly.
Fortunately, the earth's southward tilt always seems to end abruptly around the 20th of December at what old hippies celebrate as the 'winter solstice' - when the sun begins its return. The rest of us light electric candles and celebrate such traditional 'feasts of light' as Christmas and Hanukkah. The idea is that as northerners we're glad when the sun stops tilting south and we're pleased when it starts heading back toward our end of the planet.
But any Mainer knows that March – when spring begins - has never been a popular month here in Maine because - unlike October - the month of March is often plagued with weather issues. Think about it. When was the last time you had any problems with October?
On the other hand, the month of March is so useless and unpopular that many towns traditionally dump things like their town meetings in March, just to give the people in town something to look forward to avoiding.
Every month has storms but when March has a storm it doesn't just have one of your traditional 'weather events.' No siree. When March has a storm it likes to mix and match its meteorological ingredients. The typical March storm may begin slowly and easily with a little snow, but then it will quickly add a blast of arctic air and more snow from the north west and then - after a few hours of that - it may decide to bring in some southern breezes and turn the arctic snow into freezing rain then rain and back to freezing rain and a dash of sleet and back to snow atop a sheet of black ice then more rain and then a cold blast that freezes the whole mess into an ugly arctic sculpture.
The thing that sets us up for such a late-winter sucker-punch is the fact that March is perfectly capable of giving us a nice sunny day that makes us think of a day at the beach or sailing on the bay. March can give us days that make us foolishly think that the back of winter has finally been broken and spring has arrived.
But to see how different these two months - October and March are - write them down - 'October' and 'March' - side-by-side on a paper and then list all the good times you and the family can look forward to having indoors and outdoors in October. I figure you'd probably need a few more sheets of paper just to finish listing all your October good times, right?
Now, scratch your head and try to think of one - just one - good time you and the family have ever had in Maine in March.
I’m still waiting.

John McDonald is a humorist and storyteller
who performs regularly throughout New England.
Contact John at or 899-1868.
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