Out and About (Sort of): Howling at the Moon by Howard Freedlander


When will this unending winter come to a close? Chatter about an uncontrollable fact of life has become a staple of conversation in 2018.

I cannot remember another time in my life when I’ve focused so much on a season, anxious for it to end. When I’ve voiced my frustration, silly though it might be, I’ve discovered that others agree.

Are these people actually watching baseball?

When I’ve talked with friends comfortably ensconced in warmer climes, I’ve applauded their good sense. For the first time, I’ve even entertained a tinge of envy, rhetorically asking myself: why would anyone who could go south for the winter stick around the Mid-Atlantic region and endure ceaselessly cold temperatures?

Understanding that the month of March is typically a tease in its spectrum of climatic changes—snowstorms and rain—I expected that April would provide a welcome change, an infusion of pleasant, spring weather.

Not so.

Just this past Saturday, April 7, a friend and I dared to watch a Washington Nationals baseball game at Nationals Ballpark against the New York Mets. It seemed unimaginable, but those of us who filled half a stadium were bundled up against 40-degree temperatures. Adding insult to injury, the sun remained AWOL.

Hot chocolate was for sale. It competed with beer as the beverage of choice.

There was more misery.

Empty seats show cold-weather effect.

The Nationals lost its fourth straight game, by one run. And there was one more disturbing occurrence. In one inning, the home plate umpire ejected the Nationals batter and then the manager for arguing a strike call. The Nationals manager was so angry he kicked dirt on home plate and tossed his cap.

Subsequently, the fans busied themselves screaming at the empire and briefly ignoring the cold weather. Ah, sports provide an escape from daily concerns–and unseasonably cold temperatures—in the heat of the moment (excuse my lame pun).

Now, if this were an April Fool’s column, I would suggest that the Russians were somehow responsible for delaying the onset of Spring weather. I would wonder if Russia’s President Putin and gang somehow hacked the weather gods. As you can tell, I’m really grasping for an explanation for a winter that refuses to go away.

Continuing my senseless venting about the weather, I’m anxious to eschew seaters and long-sleeved shirts for a warm-weather wardrobe. Enough is enough.

Lacking any scientific data, I would like to believe that our moods would improve, that we would smile more and resume our neighborhood conversations if the weather improved and offered us a long period of pleasant weather.

Whining about the weather seems meaningless and, yes, comparable to howling at the moon and wasting my time and energy. Yet, I can’t help myself.

It’s time for a change. The thought of 60-70-degree weather gives me hope.

Happy Spring!

Columnist Howard Freedlander retired in 2011 as Deputy State Treasurer of the State of Maryland.  Previously, he was the executive officer of the Maryland National Guard. He  also served as community editor for Chesapeake Publishing, lastly at the Queen Anne’s Record-Observer.  In retirement, Howard serves on the boards of several non-profits on the Eastern Shore, Annapolis and Philadelphia.


  1. […] together). Perhaps it’s the elongated winter (as Howard Freedlander elegantly described here recently; but, it most certainly is due to a new boat in our family that I’ve had an increased […]

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