We've jumped straight from winter to summer. Last night, we slept with the windows open, and this morning I'm taking my laptop and tea out to the back deck. I moved all the tropicals out; we'll keep an eye on the nighttime temperatures in case we have to haul them back in, but it seemed cruel to keep them out of the sun any longer. Yesterday, the kids were driving me up the wall -- we all have colds, and it's making us cranky -- so I took the laptop to the front porch, sat in the porch swing and watched the neighbors go by. Liz who lives next door stopped by with her son, who wanted to come up and play. We gave him fifteen minutes, and Liz and I chatted for the first time in months. In winter, we all seem to retreat to our separate homes, but now it's summer in March, and the neighbors emerge, blinking, to trade stories of the months past and say, over and over again -- this weather! it's a gift!