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 Rants: The Glory of Living in New England

Travelby Ray Lemiere

An article first published in 2005....and ideal, I believe, for this time of year as cabin fever slowly drives us all insane.

Last night, I was surfing the internet and I came across a statistic that surprised me. To be honest, that statistic really has nothing to do with this, but it seemed like a good starting point for a rant.


Item: Did you know the Four Seasons have had 29 different members in their long musical career? So, there were actually a lot more than just Four Seasons.
Comment: Big deal. In the northeast, we also have more than four seasons. We have:

Mud Season…Those extra-special days in March and early April that make you curse every dirt road you travel on. ....

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Spring…This “season” usually consists of three nice days in late March (which only makes Mud Season even worse) and a handful of lovely days in April (which only makes Mud Season last longer).

Late Spring…The glorious days of May. May is the month….oooops, “season” when we all begin to believe winter (and that dreaded Mud Season) is actually over.

June…Finally, the mud is gone! Unfortunately, by the end of the month, the bliss is short-lived as the sloppy roads are replaced by the always-popular infestation of black flies and mosquitoes.
Yes, there really is something called Black Fly season.

July…Okay, now the fun really begins. Black Fly Season is in full gear. The humidity is so high that the days are beginning to feel like a steam bath. And if you don’t have air conditioning in your car or home, you actually begin to think back on Mud Season as something rather pleasant.

August…Damn, could it be more humid? Temperatures in the nineties (and occasionally higher) and humidity so thick you couldn’t cut it with a chain saw. Well, at least the black flies are happy.

September…Finally, some relief! The damn flies are gone, the late summer sun has cooled down, and the leaves begin to change. Wait, that isn’t necessarily a good thing because it brings us to…

Fall Foliage Season…Don’t get me wrong. I fully appreciate the splendor. I am constantly amazed at how beautiful it all looks.
But I also know there will be 2,417 out-of-state cars for every local vehicle. Those “leaf-peepers” will meander down the highway at a maximum of 15 miles-per-hour, craning their necks for a look at that lovely maple tree.
Meanwhile, you have exactly 10 minutes to get to an important meeting, and you begin to wish that some lumber company had clear-cut the whole hillside during the summer. They didn’t, of course, because those pesky black flies would have driven them crazy.

October…The foliage is fading, but the tourists have gone so it’s a nice trade-off. The days are getting shorter, and the evenings are a little chillier.
So, even though there isn’t much to complain about, there is always that gloomy thought that the first snowfall can’t be far off.

November…The leaves have all fallen. The countryside strongly resembles the scenery in The Deer Hunter. Everything looks barren and gloomy. And sometime during the month, we know that first damn snowflake is going to fall.

December…The snow is here. Oh, sure, a little dusting would be nice, but nooooo, we get clobbered with the white stuff. Some clown on the radio (used to be me) is gleefully playing, ”Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!” God, I hate Dean Martin.
Those dirt roads which were virtually impossible to drive on during Mud Season are now a slick, accident-waiting-to-happen, mess.
Those tourists who clogged up the highways during Fall Foliage Season are back again, but now, instead of staring at the mountains, they’re skiing on them. And they still drive 15 miles-per-hour.

January…The snow is coming in waves. It is cold—brutally cold. Remember those hot, sticky August nights? Bet you’re thinking back on them with fondness now.
Christmas has come and gone, and all the credit card bills are rolling in. Yes, I know that happens in other sections of the country too, but this is my rant!

February…We have been cooped up inside our comfortably heated homes (the heating bills aside) for so long, we begin to feel like a prisoner in solitary confinement.
But we begin to get a little excited about life again. We know there will be a storm or two in early March, but we’ve made it this far, and nothing can stop us now.

Except of course, March, which brings us to Mud Season

[11 February 2008]

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