Tthere are many advantages in living on the beautiful coast of New England during the mid-winter months. Where else could one grab their morning paper and not have to spend time to unwrap the plastic wrapping because all one has to do is toss it to the ground at which time the plastic would literally splinter off the paper like a thin piece of glass.

What other part of our nation do you have the capacity to change your shoelaces every other day because they snap off every time you have to tie your boots. Think of all the fashion statements we make every other day by changing the color of our shoelaces.

Walking out onto your driveway is always an adventure. I haven’t taken a step past the inside of my garage door in months because all I have to do is aim my boots toward my truck and inertia will allow me to slide right up to my truck door. Think of all the calories I have saved by not having to put one foot in front of the other.

The air is remarkably aseptic because nothing could possibly live for more than a few microseconds in the cold we call New England’s winter. The only way one could catch a cold is from inside a building. If you ever wanted to remain disease free just stay outside for a few minutes and if the cold doesn’t kill you it will kill any type of germ know to modern technology.

Where else in the continental United States can you have your eyes frozen shut while walking less than a block away from your house. Looking through my partially frozen over eye lids one can only see images surrounded by a rainbow of colors because the tiny ice particles act as perfect prisms to color our world.

Even though our tears are saline they still freeze like the ocean freezes over the rocks looking like large black defects surrounded by round cut diamonds. These diamonds also reflect colors, which seems to be another evidence of Darwin’s evolutionist theory.

One of my favorite times during the winter months is recycling day. I look forward to the time when I have to organize two weeks worth of old newspapers, half-filled beer and soda cans, empty plastic gallon jugs, which used to hold milk or water, and of course the ever popular cardboard that has to broken down and folded so that the recycling police will collect it. 

During the winter months the contents of the cans are always frozen and have the capacity to become brick like. This is especially obvious when one has to crush them in order to have them fit in the recycling bin. Many times during the winter months my colleagues at school ask why I seem to be limping every two weeks. 

One becomes a bit religious this time of year. At least a prayer a day mumbled every time we go into our cars in the hopes it will start. Many of us are seen looking up at the roof of our car or truck with our hands squeezing the steering wheel in the hopes that when you turn the key something will happen.

When one is lucky enough to have something happen there is never a guarantee one will be able to take his or her hands off the steering wheel. One’s gloves are usually frozen onto the wheel only to let go when the inside of our cars reach the temperatures of most of the inside of our freezers. In fact, I still have pieces of many of my winter gloves of winter’s past still stuck on different areas of my steering wheel.

Everyone now and then when I am in a hurry I forget to put on a pair of gloves before I attempt to start my truck. If I ever decide to live a life of crime I will have little fear of ever leaving any kind of finger or hand print because they are now permanently attached to that same steering wheel of many of my previously owned gloves.  

Winter boots never become old in northern New England. They work pretty well for a couple of years but after the bottom of the boots become frozen to the pavement every time one takes a step the soles of the shoes finally give up by remaining on the frozen pavement behind the person taking the steps. This is tough on ones feet because like the layers of skin now permanently attached to the steering wheel the soles of one’s feet are now implanted on the pavement of our driveways. 

Fashion is never a problem for New Englander’s this time of year. The reason for this is because you have to put on so many layers of clothes, if you don’t like what you are wearing at some particular moment all you have to do is remove or shift the layers.

If you need to look colorful there is always a red or yellow sweater tucked in between some other shirt or sweater. If you need to look conservative a brown or black shirt or sweater is probably hidden somewhere outside your body. In fact, this winter has been so cold I haven’t seen the inside of my closet in two months. Why bother changing clothes. 

The concept of dieting during this time of year is also not necessary. Everyone looks fat because of the layers of clothes one has to wear. If one can’t see how big they are or if one thinks he or she is gaining weight all one has to do is blame the layers of clothes.

The only problem with this concept is the arrival of spring. What one thought was a sweater or an extra shirt probably became an extra layer of fat. This is the primary reason why New Englander’s wear sweaters right into the month of May.

There were many advantages in living on the beautiful coast of Maine during the mid-winter months, but I think I left my mind somewhere in a snowdrift next to what was left of the bottom of my winter boots to remember why.
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Thawing out the media myths of a New England winter
By J. G. Fabiano.
Jim Fabiano is a teacher and writer living in York, Maine
You can reach him at james.fabiano60@gmail.com