Saturday, January 11, 2014

Baby It's Cold Outside

Over the last few weeks, I've made friends with my ice scraper, realized the necessity of all-season tires, and learned a new phrase: polar vortex. Sounds horribly menacing, doesn't it? Meanwhile, my friends and family in L.A. tell me that the sky is blue, temps are hovering in the 70s and 80s, and you can even see the mountains. Just another perfect day...

When they ask me, cautiously, how I'm adjusting, I surprise them and myself by saying that I love it here in New England. Certainly, going back to work has been good for my psyche. As a naturally high strung person, I need a focus for my neurotic tendencies, and the Merry Husband is relieved that my target is no longer him. Although I am thankful that I was able to take almost six months off from work, I feel more productive, energetic, and, well frankly, a lot happier now that I have a job. Remember Dicky Fox from Jerry Meguire?

Ah, Sweet Purpose, how I've missed you.

But I didn't expect to like winter. I thought I'd be miserable and counting the dark days until spring. Instead, when I wake up to fresh snow covering everything in sight, I feel like Elsa from Frozen.

The Merry Husband has been trying to temper my expectations. He says that March will be difficult. Right now, though, I'm enjoying the novelty of it all.

Unlike Ice Queen Elsa, I have to admit, the cold bothers me a little bit. Fortunately, these New Englanders are a tough breed and have developed helpful coping mechanisms.

1. Legal Sea Foods' Clam Chowder. If I could mainline it, I would.

Via Legal Sea Foods
2. 10" Shearling-Lined Bean Boots. Keeps even my Raynaud's disease-ridden toes toasty warm.

3. Running. Seriously, the runners are still out there. This is prime training season for the Boston Marathon, only 99 days away. Just be sure you wear a reflective vest.

4. Alcohol. Last weekend, the Merry Husband and I stopped in for lunch at the Century House in Peabody while we were waiting for an oil change on my car. At 1:00 in the afternoon, the bar was absolutely packed. I asked the waitress if there was a special game or other event going on. No, she said. Every Saturday, people rushed in as soon as the bar opened at 11:00 in the morning to claim their seats for the rest of the day. They watched whatever was on (that day, it was Bruins hockey), played Keno, and socialized.

5. Friends. New Englanders have a reputation for gruffness. Think Bill Belichick in his cut-off hoodie.

They all seem to have been here since the Mayflower. They give directions by referencing defunct businesses. ("Turn right where that Dunkin' Donuts used to be ten years ago.") They drive with one hand permanently positioned over the horn. But once they decide that you're alright, never will you find more loyal friends. Case in point, our 72-year-old neighbor, a former highway patrolman, who insists on checking up on us at least once a week, even if that means braving his icy driveway with his cane. With friends like this, spring can wait.


  1. I can understanding you being happy and contented in New England, it is a lovely area. I feel that when you have a proper distinction between the seasons you do enjoy each one in its own right, and appreciate more what each has to offer.

  2. Here are a few more:
    --Working fireplaces;
    --Winter slow-cooked foods (such as stews) that at least heat up the kitchen;
    --Hikes in the winter woods;
    --Shoveling (not pleasant, but does warm you up);
    --and finally, maple sugaring usually starts in March. Brisk exercise collecting the sap, then gathering by the steaming evaporator. Find out now where you can volunteer.


  3. So glad you are loving Boston! It has been a particularly bad winter, if that helps! I love Bostonians - best people ever and my great-granddad and great aunt used to live right on Mass Ave. What a great place to live!

  4. It sounds heavenly there. I love those gruff characters, my most favourite kind of people. Well, you had me at clam chowder!

  5. I am glad you are enjoying all go these Winter snow and freezing temperatures.

  6. Am delighted that you are really settling in. You can have all the snow though.

  7. Congratulations on the work! I'm glad you're adjusting well to New England's winters! I will warn you that March and April can be hard.

  8. Happy New Year! You seem to be getting used to the temperatures. What a lovely place to live. We went to see Frozen just before Christmas - a great way to start the festive season.

  9. Good to read you are enjoying the winter so far. Here it usually rains most of the winter so the sky is clouded over all the time. By January we are sick of it and want spring to come already.

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  11. OK, enough of the new job, new state, new snow. Another post, please? I miss you.

  12. It’s good to hear that you’re loving your stay in New England. Well what’s not to love, right? They have delicious clam chowder, friendly neighbors, and you can enjoy a good cup of coffee while waiting for your car's oil change. Hope you roam around New England in it and enjoy the sights that it has to offer. Cheers!

    David Woodall @ Capitol Hill Exxon

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