(Host) On a really hot summer day, commentator Linda DuCharme likes to think about: January.
(DuCharme) It happens every summer. Just as the memories of the dismal cold start to thaw, some hot muggy August day, I start to romanticize about the loveliness of Vermont winters. Soon there will be a nip in the air, the leaves will be scarlet against a cobalt blue sky and we can stack firewood. Turtle neck sweaters, thick woolen socks and plaid things call from my closet. Soon hearty stews will simmer on the stove and I’ll bake some whole wheat bread.
We’ll invite our kids to visit, and they should bring some friends. We will all throw the firewood into the cellar and stack it in perfect rows by the furnace. I love the look of the logs all neat against the wall. And then we’ll sit on the deck and have some hot chocolate.
We’ll mulch the garden and listen for the eager cries of Canada geese and marvel at their patterns as they head south. We’ll chuckle fondly at the scolding crows. “Good old Crows. Getting ready for winter.” How I love to see the wood smoke curling into the frosty air
Fast forward about five months.
I have gashes in both knees from having slid backwards down the driveway to get to my car which probably will not start. As I lie face down in the latest drift, I moan, “Florida.”
I am wearing gloves inside of mittens and a most unattractive hat that is purely functional along with several layers of miracle fabrics that crackle in the sub zero weather.
Earlier in the season, a few weeks after, “Oh, Look! It’s snowing!” my husband had snow blowed the driveway to perfection. Planes could land on its smooth surface, lightly and evenly dusted with snow melt.
Now there is a path, barely wide enough for one car and that’s only good until the next pass by the town plow.
Down cellar the oil portion of the furnace is hungry. Upstairs, the radio is announcing record pricing for oil and $45 a barrel takes on a real meaning.
Obscenely large icicles threaten to plunge through the porch roof and the ceiling groans and creaks not unlike the Titanic as it prepared to break apart.
Burning wood most of the year, I sigh with relief each time we return after some outing; and there are no flashing lights, hoses in the road and fire trucks lining the path to our home.
I have a brother who has lived in Alaska for more than 25 years. At some point he was offered a job in Hawaii and snapped it up one fine day while he was in Nome and the temperature registered 70 below. But after less than two years he headed back up north. He said the problem with Hawaii was the “darn birds never, ever shut up.” He realized the need for a change of seasons.
I have another brother who lives in Florida. He will spend any amount of money to ensure he is not there at Christmas time. It’s the changes we New Englanders love. And winter? Bring it on!
This is Linda DuCharme of Brookline.
Linda DuCharme is a retired assistant managing editor of the Brattleboro Reformer. She spoke to us from our studio in Norwich.