Tuesday, January 27, 2009

They All Smile in L.L. Bean Catalogs

And do you know why? They're getting paid, that's why. And they're wearing nice, warm clothing that they didn't have to pay for. Oh, sure, they have to take it off eventually, but they'll be indoors and toasty. If I sound bitter, I'm surprised you can hear it through the chattering teeth.
I left my house Tuesday morning at 8:00 am for an appointment. It was minus six degrees Fahrenheit, according to the dashboard thermometer. As I looked at that number, I thought, "Wow. It's ten degrees warmer than it was when I went to work at 7:00 am yesterday."
I said to my wife, when I came back inside after taking out the trash (for some reason a masculine job), "Perhaps the blizzard will warm things up a bit." Because that's tomorrow's weather - ten to fifteen inches of the white stuff - and it probably will warm things up a bit, although it's likely to be pretty cold when I'm walking behind my snowblower. And I'll be cold and wet and ready to go inside when the snowplow goes by and fills in the end of my driveway. And because I grew up in this town, I know the driver and he knows me, so he'll beep his horn and smile and wave and say "Hi!" And that simple gesture of friendliness, that driver's reaching out to an old friend even as he pushes hundreds of pounds of snow back into his driveway, that beep and that smile and that wave combine to fill me with that sort of liquid anger that makes me want to blow up everything that's big and orange.

It's not your fault, Bill, and I get over it.

I look on Facebook at all of my friends who have moved away and are pining for the rocky coast of Maine, and the glorious foliage, and the lakes, and the snow-covered mountains. Do you know what I've noticed? They've all moved away from the rocky coast of Maine, and the glorious foliage, and the lakes, and the snow-covered mountains. I bet most of them are someplace warmer.
I've thought about it. I've often thought that, when the kids are grown (does that ever happen? My Mom says it doesn't), I'd like to move to warmer climes. My wife has always said that she wouldn't move without the kids, and I've always told her that I'd miss her, but we can always e-mail. Even she's talking about it, now.

It's funny, though.

I don't think about it in the summer.


  1. Some years ago, in February, I lived in Tallahassee, Fl. I called my brother on his birthday, and he asked me "Don't you miss Maine?", to which I responded, " I just checked the mail in my bare feet, shorts and t-shirt. Yes, I miss Maine, but not in February."

  2. As a second comment, while living in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, we were expecting our one and only snowstorm of the year. I was seated next to two guys who kept on and on about how they wished it would snow for three days. When I'd heard enough, I told them both that it was clear to me that neither of them had ever been awakened at five am to shovel the driveway so dad could go to work.

  3. Great blog Tony! Can I add you to my blog roll?

  4. I've missed reading your column since I had to move back to Florida. Glad to see it online!

  5. Some things I remember growing up hearing: Enjoy your childhood - life goes by faster each year passing; Green pastures look greener on the other side; Be charitable, it's Tuesday; and summers in Maine can't be beat.

    Best scenario for me would be summers in Lubec, ME and winters somewhere warm with maybe one week for skiing!


  6. I'm sorry, but I'll take Guntersville, AL over winter any day - it snows for one day - a light dusting, usually near Christmas...the kids have a snow day - the Piggly Wiggly runs out of bread, milk and eggs and the Northern transplants have a good laugh... and if you go to the ocean - you can SWIM in it (and still feel your ankles when you come out!)..now the people in Maine... That's completely different - they can't be duplicated! And they're the reason I keep comin' back to Maine.. (and for the Italian sandwiches..) (Tony, please add me to your blog mailing list... thanks!).