Sunday, March 29, 2015


Another Arctic blast gripped our region yesterday. When I left for my run, the temperature read a very January-like 29 degrees. In the morning, a light blanket of ground covered the ground.

After five months of snow, and with April around the corner, it is my fondest hope that yesterday's dusting was our "onion snow."

Chances are, if you or your relatives are not from around these parts, you have no idea what I'm talking about.

After William Penn and the Quakers settled Pennsylvania in the late 1600s, Penn actually advertised his colony in Europe. The similar climate, terrain, and growing season appealed particularly to the Germans, who brought their efficient methods of farming to the hills of Pennsylvania.

Mistakenly called the "Pennsylvania Dutch," when they told the English settlers they hailed from Deutschland, they planted their early crops in March. One of the first crops to enter the ground was the onion crop. Hence, early-Spring snow has earned the moniker, "onion snow."

Now, I don't possess the farming skills of the Pennsylvania Dutch, (although my mother boasts German heritage), I usually try to plant onions in my garden around Saint Patrick's Day.

Not this year!

Today I ran my best five-mile workout since October. The temperature, only in the low 40s, was boosted by intense sunshine, and the sky took on a periwinkle blue hue. It was a great day to work outside, cleaning up winter's mess. I decided to prepare my garden for what I hoped would be an insertion of lettuce, broccoli, cauliflower, and, of course, spring onions, later this week. As I swung the pick into the ground, the point stuck, gripped by an icy claw. To my dismay, the ground is still frozen, so the onions will have to wait.

However, temperatures have begun to moderate, and for runners, the next few weeks should bring ideal training and racing temperatures before the summer heat descends upon us.

Take advantage of the April and May days of spring. As life renews itself around us, renew your commitment to training. Snow, ice, and frozen temperatures are gone or a while, and we've once again survived winter's wrath.

The onions may have to wait, but running season is in full bloom.