I am sitting here with a pounding headache, 100-degree fever, and runny nose, singing the lyrics to the song Black Peter over and over in my head. I don’t get sick very often, so naturally I think I am dying whenever I get a significant cold or flu.
I am one of the 3 sick people in my house and we all seem to have something different. My wife has something going on with her stomach and my son woke last night with 104 temperature. I have been trying to setup an interview with a gentleman in Marblehead, MA, but I have been forced to reschedule with all of this damn sickness and snow. I find myself asking once again, why the hell do I still live in New England? Why do I live in a place that is cold 9 months out of the year? Why do I live in a place where my kids are perpetually sick for about 6 of those months? As I am writing this, I am not even sure how to answer those questions, but I will forge on before this sniffling nose finally puts me over the edge.
The easy answer to this question is my family obligations. I am married to a woman that owns a business here in New England and also needs to be close by to her family. I don’t really have the option to move unless I basically wanted to leave my family behind. What? Don’t judge me! This headache hurts!
There are some other, deeper reasons for living here. Some of them you may understand, and some you just may have to be a native New Englander to understand.
- Going to the Beach on Christmas is just wrong. Why you ask? I have no idea why, but I know in my heart that it’s wrong. Christmas should be full of snow, cold, warm blankets, and chestnuts roasting on the open fire. Hell, you never hear Bing Crosby singing about sand in his britches on Christmas Day.
- The 3 month party called “summer.” Once June 1st hits, the party starts and it doesn’t stop until September 1st. Even the act of driving to work is fun. The windows are down and the music is turned up. If you glance at the car beside you, the odds are the guy or gal next to you is doing the exact same thing and will smile back at you in confirmation. People are happy and friendly
- We appreciate the good weather more because it is a rarity. I remember going to a beach in Florida last year. It was a beautiful beach and quite crowded with folks of all ages. The temperature was perfect and the water was clear and warm. The odd thing was that nobody was using the glorious ocean for anything. Everybody was content just sitting on their WalMart beach chairs staring at the ocean like it was some piece of art in a gallery. If you go to a crowded beach on Cape Cod in the summer, you’ll find the water chock full of people sailing, swimming, lounging, hugging, laughing, surfing, fishing, doing that mom-splash-water-on-your-arms thing, and generally worshiping the water like it was poured that day by God himself.
- Because I am an elitist snob. OK, so maybe that is a little aggressive, but it has some truth to it. I feel as though New England is the hub of the country. Not so much New York City or Boston so to speak, but New England as a whole. We have the best colleges and the smartest people studying, living, and working here. I have exactly zero facts to back that up, but I am sure there is a report somewhere that would confirm it. Sure, those folks might be a little surly most of the time and you seldom get a random “hello” on the streets, but cut us some slack. We’ve suffered, entombed in a frozen cask of white death for 3/4 of every year since birth. Come visit in July, and I be your random street-hello’s will go up by at least 10-12%.
- New England built the United States. It all started here. New England is filthy rich in history. You would know that if you lived near Lake Chaubunagungamaug in MA or ever drove the Kancamagus Highway in NH. Half our roads and rivers are named after Indian tribes. If you want to find the place richest in American history, we’re it. Ask people such as Ben Franklin, Sam Adams, John Hancock, Norman Rockwell, Mark Twain, Eli Whitney, and….oh yeah…the Pilgrims where they lived. Yup, right here. New England built the United States.
In order to live here in New England, you essentially need to suffer for about 6 months per year (late spring and most of autumn are pretty amazing). Even the folks that enjoy skiing all season typically start groaning, “it’s been a long winter” around the middle of February. Then March rolls around and everyone gets happy for 1 or 2 days around 60 degrees and then angry again that it’s still 40 degrees. April and May start to show signs of spring and a muddy thaw. Then June comes. Then July (my favorite). Then August. There is nothing like it. Three straight months of pure bliss made even better by the facts that it is just three months and that we just suffered through a frozen hell to get there.
No, I have never lived anywhere else and I am sure I will get emails telling me how wonderful San Diego is or how beautiful Florida is in December. To those naysayers I say….well, I say nay. New England is the smartest, most appreciative, 3-months-of-funnest, 9-months-of-suckiest, most historical-est, and bestest place to live. I was born here and I will die here!!! Well, unless my wife will let me take the boat when I leave.Thank you for reading!