Cold, cloudy and rainy in the Northeast kingdom today just like the day before yesterday as it will be tonight. Autumn has definitely arrived despite the green that’s still on the trees which, by the way, is turning color in that steady unstoppable pace. In other words, just like any other fall we’ve ever had. It’s a wonder that considering the long winters we have up here, I still kinda’ look forward to the change.
It’s funny then that we always seem a bit surprised this time each year, that it’s actually “no longer summer”.
“Yup”, they say, “it’s not summer anymore that’s for sure,” knowing full well the same thing was said last year.
“Think this winter’s gonna come in fairly cold this year,” they state wisely, “pro’bly see a bit more snow I figure”.
Methinks that if each time those statements were made over the years and both turned out to be really true, the Northeast would currently be in the middle of it’s own personal ice age by now.
I think that I’d miss it though if they ever stopped pronouncing the coming weather as if it was a certainty akin to stating that rocks don’t fly. Just like it’s been pronounced generation after generation among the hills and valleys of the Green Mountain State. An honored tradition and absolute right among the natives here where every man (and/or woman) has his (or her) “weather tree” (usually a maple) that always predicts the coming winter weather by how soon it begins to turn color, the particular shade of color, which side, top or bottom turns first and by how much.
There are all sorts of things up in these parts that falls within the definition of “common knowledge” that a non-native would never think about, for instance:
How much water is in the well before the ground freezes hard? This is important since once it does freeze hard you’ve lost over half the source to your well and have to depend solely upon the spring that feeds it which has also lost over half it’s source. This only applies to a tile well though.
(It also means that some of us have to go out at least twice a day (and often times three or four) when it’s waaay below zero and pound the ice off the top of the water in the watering tank you have in the “run-in” for the sheep, cows or any other such barnyard critter you might have hanging about. Fun indeed.)
“Bridges freeze before roads” (or “ices” as they say now). Yup, they most certainly do…and so do the low spots, high spots, naturally wet spots (spring coming up through middle of road…yes, it happens), stretches of road through the middle of a wetland and anywhere the snow is blowing or has blown across the pavement meaning anywhere you least expect it. Makes driving so much more interesting, especially for the ones from “Down Country” who insist on seeing the beauty of Vermont in the dead of Winter.
…and on that note…
Skiers are a whole other matter entirely.
Somehow I never really had the inkling to strap two very long, very thin, very narrow strips of fiberglass or whatever onto the bottoms of my feet, jump off a perfectly good mountaintop and proceed to careen down an almost vertical slope at 90 miles per hour for who knows how long and look out for that tree! I’d much rather prefer sitting in the lodge in front of a roaring fire with a drink in one hand and the other one around my lady. I even might buy a drink for the one or two less
intelligent fortunate ones who just happened to break something on the way down and to listen with great sympathy as to how they almost missed that moose.
But either way…
I think from September 22nd to New Years eve is my favorite time of the cold season and my least favorite time is everything after that or the “long haul” as I call it that runs right through to the end of march. I don’t mind mud season as much because it’s the herald of much warmer weather to come, but January to the end of March takes at least 3.568 years to get through or so it seems most of the time.
Leaving the coming cold weather aside, I’m headed back down to Boston (VA) for the third time and second follow up to see if my poor abdomen is finally healing properly. What ever the conclusion might be, I’m going back to work (or at least make one heck of an attempt) this coming Thursday. A paycheck is starting to become a badly needed thing I think.
Giving the weather a final shot here, a hurricane with my name on it was in the line up this year for the Atlantic side of things but I don’t think it’s even going to get up to bat, let alone a chance to run the bases. The current hurricane, Issac, is hundreds of miles off the coast of the Carolina’s and is turning NorthEast at the moment and Juliette (I think that’s the “J” one this year) has yet to show her pretty head. So much for Hurricane Kirk. Beaten out by a mild hurricane season and ol’ El Neen-yo (sorry…no special characters available here).
So there’s for the weather, skiers, abdomens and hurricanes. It’s amazing what you can put into a post when your mind is wandering aimlessly. : -)
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