Thursday, October 15, 2009

89 degrees

My near neighbor hasn't turned on his heat yet. I turned it on a few days ago and set the thermostat to a luxurious 62 degrees. I didn't do it for myself. I''m happy to wear woolen undergarments and an overcoat and stomp my feet and watch my breath merge with the steam off a teacup cradled between my chillblained fingers. I don't live alone though, so, bowing to the change in seasons, we have added blankets to the bed clothes and turned on the heat. N*Star must be happy to be reading this.

My near neighbor wonders if native New Englanders have a secret on how to deal with the seasonal misery with aplomb. Brother, it's just started and I am dreading the coming months. It's nothing yet. This is just a taste. I'm not from Massachusetts; I'm a cranky Nutmeg Yankee. That means I'm from Connecticut, a few miles closer to the tropics. What's our secret? We're not called cranky Yankees for nothing. Unlike those nice folks in Minnesota, winter doesn't bring out our best. Winter is the hammer and tongs that make us the way we are: sour, remote, bland, uncaring, resigned, hating to see anyone else having any fun. If you enjoy something, it must not be good for you. New Englanders love winter as much as they hate it. It wouldn't be New England if you could go outside and play year round. Our secret: hunker down and enjoy the misery.

As I type this, I see that the temperature in New Orleans is 89 degrees. The temperature here in Boston, this fine mid-October evening, is a seasonable 41 degrees. They say that in New Orleans people celebrate the sabbath like Bostonians spend the 4th of July. They celebrate October 15th the way Bostonians do July 15th too. Boston has a lot of attributes to recommend it. Dorchester is one of them. Climate is not.

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