How do we explain Weather This Funky (WTF) to outsiders, those citizens not here in New England?

On April 3, I was admiring a small bed of purple, white and yellow crocus by our front steps. They push through the faded mulch around this time each year. A few feet off, daffodils or jonquils (anyone know the difference?) had seemingly sprouted overnight to catch up with its shorter but abundant friends across the way.

Without conducting a specific blade count, I’d say a good 30 percent of the lawn was green on that day, and I was set to perform my favorite ritual – replace the Kubota tractor’s snowblower attachment with the lawnmower deck. Certainly snow was in the rear-view mirror by now, and the soothing sounds of another dandelion massacre would be just days away. Perhaps in between Sunday naps I’d find time to send the snowblower rig to time-out while I high-fived 54 inches of orange deck.

A bay over, the recently washed and ceramic-coated Mustang had reported for active duty a couple weeks earlier.

That was April 3. By the morning of April 4, the crocuses were smothered under a blanket … no, a comforter of thick, heavy snow. The jonquils were doubled-over in agony and my Kubota so intent on working in pastures was subjugated to lobbing white slush off a long driveway, uphill in both directions. And the Mustang returned to hibernation.

Welcome to spring in New England.

The wind raged the previous night and through most of Thursday, causing 8-story pines and elms to shed countless branches and limbs. Tree debris as far as the eye can see.

I sent the missus off to work in my 4×4 GMC pickup at 6am, as it would handle the weather better than our 20-year-old minivan. Blurred tire tracks up the driveway were reimbursed with interest by the steady snowfall.

As I eased the tractor out of the garage, the churning blower did its darnedest to lob snow out the chute in the general direction of the light post. The same light post that lists at 45 degrees due to previous encounters with the Kubota’s horizontal avalanches. Someone called a truce and snow didn’t take out the post. This time.

The tractor was chugging confidently for 50 feet when I stopped in my tracks. An unfathomable amount of sticks had to be harvested before I could advance with the snow blower. Should the churning portion chomp into a heavy stick or rock, a “shear pin” snaps off (shears) to prevent the jammed object from damaging expensive tractor parts. (Reminder to self: Invest heavily in shear pin manufacturers.)

With this in mind, I shuffled up the driveway stooping to pick every little branch in the path of the blower. After a few yards of constant stooping and tossing branches into the woods, I raised the bar: pick up only branches longer than a foot and wider than a pencil.

By the driveway’s halfway point, I figured the tractor should be able to toss ridiculously heavy snow and grind up sappy branches the circumference of Andre the Giant’s thumb. Why not? It’s good exercise for a snow blower. Approaching the top of the driveway, I was way sick of picking up doomed branches. Anything up to and including hockey sticks would just have to take their chances with an annoyed snowblower. I just wasn’t picking up another branch.

I returned to my idling machine and again advanced – adding a shower of diced pine needles, bark and stick shrapnel into the snowy air. Until the moment the chute clogged completely with slush and sticks, the tractor performed just fine and miraculously no shear pins were sacrificed.

Ten minutes later, the sun was out. Then in.

Widespread power outages, downed trees and general mayhem set in for the next couple days. And any thoughts Ol’ Man Spring had of long-lingering snow vaporized April 9 when the mercury touched 70 degrees locally. Snow vanished, leaving us with a lawn more dead than before.

The colds and warms of the following days resemble an EKG.

My wife Genevieve is from the Philippines where temps swing wildly between 89 and 92 degrees daily, with an occasional monsoon squeezed in to release humidity back onto the good citizens. When she and my older daughter Geni landed at Manchester Regional Airport in January of 2011, they were greeted with a foot of snow and 16 degrees of northern comfort.

It’s no wonder the woman spent most of April in the closet brewing up wardrobe changes from dusk till dawn.

Our weather is ridiculously unpredictable.

I’d enjoy toasting to spring, but I left the wine on the porch last night and there was a freeze. Here’s to spring and enjoy your fermented grape Popsicles!