Monday, March 2, 2009

March 2, 2009 - My Neighborhood, Weymouth, Massachusetts

New Englanders are always thinking about winter, whether they realize it or not. We know that even if the calendar says March, April, October or November. there's no guarantee that we're free of the potential for snow. We can tell you exactly where we were when the big, 27-inch April 1st snowstorm hit in 1997. And summertime? Well, when a tree falls during a hurricane, our first thought is to find out who has a chainsaw so we can cut it up for the fireplace, or for the uncle and aunt who have a wood stove. Winter lingers in our minds at all times.

Therefore, it wasn't surprising this morning to wake up and see a foot of snow on the ground. It's March. It's cold. That's why the Red Sox are in Florida, and not at Fenway.

It took me two full hours to shovel the cars free today, and with the roads in the condition they were, I knew I had no choice but to start out on foot from the house. It's a walk I'd been saving for a snowy day.

My current neighborhood is not the one I grew up in. I've found that it's transitory in nature. Familes seem to be moving in and out at a rapid pace. At one point, all four of the houses nearest to us were vacant. They're now full. But that doesn't mean we know anybody very well. We all work so much, and all commute to do so, that we rarely see each other in daylight. Lots of waves and smiles, but no real conversation. That's why the stranger hellos were so fun today. I actually got to talk to three of my neighbors. I also got to see how many people have better snowblowers than me. Everybody.
Time: 33 minutes.
New species: None.
Stranger hellos: 3 (129).
What else is happening: Turned in a chapter in the major book project I'm working on; two hours of shoveling snow; dislodged an engorged dog tick from my back, always lots of fun; more magazine and nonprofit work.

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