Saturday, August 25, 2012


Hot weather getting to you?  Here's a bit of winter to help you keep cool.

New England is a lovely place to grow up, but it is frequently a cold one.    In northern Vermont, snow hung around until April and was not unheard of in May.  It made its appearance again in October.   We made the most of the short summer months and enjoyed the colorful mountain beauty of a fall, which began in late August.

Before autumn had ended, my father had split and stacked a small mountain of wood in preparation for the cold months ahead.   My mother had restocked our freezer with garden produce and meat.   Food and a heat source were prime concerns, when heavy winter storms could block roads and cause power outages.   Except for those blizzards, however, we went about our usual work and school lives.  were rarely closed for inclement weather; indeed, I have observed that southern schools seem to have more.  In warmer climates, snow is a novelty.  For us, it was a fact of life.   For skiers and snowmobilers, it was even part of the recreation.    We dressed for the weather and  gathered around the kitchen’s wood stove to warm, when we came back inside.  From steaming waffles and warm maple syrup for breakfast to bedtime hot chocolate, meals were designed to fill and warm.    Although I admit to preferring a warmer climate, I still look back on those days with a bit of nostalgia.

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