Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Punxsutawney Phil and Grey Crayola

It's fittingly appropriate that I live in New England.

Not in the sense that I drive maniacally and have a wicked Boston accent (although both true in the worst possibly clich├ęd way), but in the sense that you never know what you're going to get when you live here.

New England is Bi-Polar. It's drastically in need of gargantuan doses of pharmaceuticals to even its keel. Bitter cold winters flecked with random 60 degree days, just for shits and giggles. Days upon days of endless grey with just a tease of sun. Rain that can make your bones ache in a way you never knew possible, and summer's that can rival the desert at times.

I found myself driving this morning, after a day of monsoon like rains that washed away the feet of snow that had been piled up for months, iced over and full of salt and sand. It wasn't like those pristine Saturday Evening Post covers with perfect white glistening snow. It's dirty, it's wet and it's annoyingly piled up everywhere.

So Dylan pipes up from the backseat, "Mama, is winter over yet? The snow is gone and it's warm out."

I sigh.

"No Buddy, we live in New England. This yo-yo will go on until April, maybe May."

I get my hopes up explaining to a 5 year old about how in a week a furry animal with no idea what is going on will be subjected to human ridicule, a circus. A fat man in top hat and tails in a ceremony of pomp and circumstance, all the while trying to not fear for its little life over seeing it's shadow, vowing either the end of winter or 6 more weeks of the horrific mix of snow and sleet and freezing temperatures we've been accustomed too.

Poor Punxsutawney Phil.

We are so twisted we leave the fate in our moods, in our bi-polar seasons not in the shifts in the jet stream. Not on the impending threat of global warming or changes in Ozone. Not El Nino. We blame a freaking groundhog.

Scapegoat everything. Moods attributed to weather. Seasonal depression. And in a way it’s true.

When everything around you is grey its reflective. You wear it like a tag on a Crayola label. When it's cold you're cold. Not in the sense that you shiver when the wind blows, but your standoffishness.

And even as the sky changes, turns from that slated grey to those teases of azure blue, it takes a something fierce to change the mood of a New Englander.

We are a stubborn force to be reckoned with. We live and die by our sports teams, win or lose. We are prepared for the storms that come, yet loathe them as they pass. Drive like assholes, yet bitch and moan constantly about the idiots on the road.

Like Through the Looking Glass, we live in our own twisted world of feelings and visions of how things are and should be. What we are is what we know, and even if we constantly complain about it, there is oddly comfort in that too.

Like Punxsutawney Phil and Grey Crayola.


  1. HAHAHAHHA...awesome. Sounds like New England is much like Calgary although we don't get THAT much rain. And lately not as much snow. But oh we do get the cold and we get these silly things they call Chinooks that ease in and bless us with unseasonally warm weather, melting snow...leaves just a glimmer of spring and then just as quickly vanishes, leaving that blasted cold weather behind. Only consolation is that we get a lot more blue sky than most places, year round. Almost makes the cold bearable.

    And he is Balzac Billy up here. Cousin to Punxsutawney Phil I presume. LOL

  2. Hmm...the saying in Colorado is if you don't like the weather wait 5 minutes. It's always changing here...but it's nice...spring is usually a warm up in the sunshine with a small thunderstorm every afternoon to cool it off at night. That's my favorite!

  3. I go tanning in the winter to get some sunshine and fight off SAD.

    In Illinois, people are just generally angry all the time, since it's cold and grey and windy here for eight months out of the year.

    Whoever said we were the nice ones hasn't spent too much time in Chicago.


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