By: Gwen Fifield
From: Live Free or Die
Author: Jessie Crockett
February in New Hampshire is about as deep into the bowels of winter as you can get. Heating and electric bills have drained your bank account. A lack of light, sub-freezing temperatures and wind that threatens to tear the roof off, have drained you of the will to live.
Here in the Granite State, we are more inclined to shoot ground hogs, locally known as woodchucks, than to use them as weather forecasters. It’s a sure bet the little beasts are going to eat up our gardens come spring, and it is an equally sure one that no matter what happens with their shadows February 2, our winters will always last more than another six weeks.
So why do we do it? Why do we continue to live in a place that celebrates the end of winter by the unleashing of both mud and black flies in quantities that summon to mind a Biblical plague? Why do we stay some place where the most reliable crops are black ice and potholes?
Bragging rights, that’s why. Do you ever watch heart-pounding movies and imagine yourself as the hero? You know, that man or woman who was puttering along, living a normal life, when all at once, they are confronted with the need to summon strength, gumption and stamina they never realized they had? Winter is our action movie. By the end of it, many of us feel we have proved to ourselves, once again, that we have what it takes to survive the extraordinary.
All my customers at the post office love to brag about the pipes they were clever enough to keep from freezing. Or about their superior winter driving skills, which kept them from a starring role in a six- car pile up. Or how they count as one of life’s good guys because they waded out in hip-deep snow to fill the bird feeders even though feeding them in the first place was their spouse’s idea.
Sometimes, everyone needs to feel like they are special, like they are cut from a better bolt of cloth, that they have what it takes and then some. Winter does that for a lot of Granite Staters, myself included. Fortunately, for us, that feeling lasts about seven months out of the year.
Hearing from readers makes the winters seem shorter so please feel free to drop Jessie a line at her website!