I used to live in Massachusetts near my youngest brother and sister. My oldest sister lives in Vermont. Over the years, some of our famdamily conversations included a healthy competition between the two states; who had the coldest temperatures, the strongest winds, the most snow. Ten years ago, I moved south to get away from the cold winters and the dreary springs of New England. Let’s face it, they don’t want to hear from me anymore.
In the winter of 2014-15, Massachusetts had a record breaking 108.6 inches of snow. The most ever since the first recordings in 1872. Vermont had a measly 83.4 inches, but still boasted its 1970-71 season when they were blessed with 145.4 inches of snow. UGGH!
When I lived in Massachusetts, my kids looked forward to snow days. In their younger days, they didn’t mind shoveling snow, as long as they were missing school and playing outside building snowmen or sledding down our long driveway. Plus, afterwards there was tons of hot chocolate- with the little marshmallows, not the large ones -and a warm cozy fire at the end of the day. The older they got, the less they shoveled and the more they slept in. I couldn’t blame them.
I usually stayed in my pajamas and looked forward to the early afternoon with a glass of wine by the fireplace and a jigsaw puzzle. (My daughter reminded me of the old blue card table I used to set up the puzzles, which I still have. I don’t use it anymore as my jigsaw puzzles are now digital and on my pink I-pad.)
This past winter, I followed the famdamily weather threads between Massachusetts and Vermont.
“It’s freezing here.”
“It’s below freezing here.”
(It’s 81 in Florida. Shhhh...)
“Gale force winds here.”
“Trees down all over the place here.”
(Palm trees swaying in a gentle warm breeze. Just sayin'...)
A couple of weeks ago, on March 10th to be exact, Stella began dumping inches and inches of snow per hour. Massachusetts got a lot of snow, but Vermont set another record. The Famdamily texts began from Massachusetts at around 10:30 pm. They were beautiful serene pictures of the nighttime snow storm. By morning, they were passing around FB pictures from other people. Buried cars, broken tree limbs, signs selling “free snow,” and such. One of the pictures was captioned, “Here’s what 20.5 inches looks like.” and it was four stacked beer cans next to a pile of snow.
After holding my tongue as I lounged on the beach in 81-degree weather, I finally involved myself in the conversation. “Hey, you guys! You know I’m writing cork stories…show me a little love.”
My brother-in-law, Cabana Boy (mentioned in one of my previous posts) saved the day. He opened a fine Pinot, stacked four wine glasses and sent me this post’s photograph captioned, “Here’s what 30.5 inches looks like.”
Great guy, that Cabana Boy.
Kyle Ann Robertson
Chief Writing Officer at Ifcorkscouldtalk.com and BBWalsh.com