Thursday, October 27, 2016

New England Strong

On our way to work this morning, the sun was coming over the mountains to the east, the sky looked like cotton candy and was just amazing. Every day it is more beautiful than the next. 

Kurt and I drive to work 4 days a week to save money on gas seeing his truck gets a whopping 13 miles to the gallon, but it is a great & comfy truck.  We are always in awe of the sunrises and sunsets as we drive to and from work.  This is a beautiful area.  We work out in the "desert" and live 8 miles from the Pacific Ocean so we see and feel a lot of different things.   The temperature is about a 12 to 15-degree difference from the desert to the coast.  With winter coming I have to learn to dress in layers, sweater in the morning short sleeve by noon and sweater again by 6pm. 

Lately, I have been getting up thinking there will be frost and possibly snow on the ground when we leave the house in the morning.  I read posts from my friends on the east coast and see them freezing and complaining.   I get it.  Winter in New England runs about 5 months. Fall is about 4 weeks. Spring about 2 months with many black flies and mosquitoes.  Summer 3 months if you are lucky with high humidity and more mosquitoes. The missing month here is a cluster of all season, you could have a 60-degree day in December and a 50-degree day in the summer. 

As a former homeowner with no garage and living up a steep driveway made me legit crazy from the end of Oct to mid-April.   Ice dams, roof raking, sanding the driveway to hopefully make it up and I if didn't I would park at the bottom and hike up the icy torturous hill with all my bags and kids.  The snow blowing of the driveway, the path to the generator for when we lost power (because we did 3 or 4 times a winter), having to budget for gas for the generator/snowblower and oil for heat which is super expensive when you have 2 oil tanks in your house to heat your rental property and they might have the heat cranked as we were freezing and bundled up, going out to get the snow and ice off your cars, heating them up before getting in for your 20 min ride and not wanting to sit back due to how cold your clothes are and not wanting them touching your skin.  Oh, and your cute outfits are now ruined with clunky boots that have salt stains from the ice melt, a massive sweater to cover your original outfit cause it gets so damn cold out that you can barely feel the heat. Old lady hands, when your hands get so freak'n cold that your skin on your hands become unrecognizable and like and 80-year-old person.  My hair was always super staticky because of how dry it got inside because of the heat that was cranking and my contacts were like sandpaper.  

Think you get the idea of how miserable it can be or at least for me. 
Those of you who love the winter are the few who don't own a home on a hill, have the cash for someone to snowplow the driveway, enjoy stacking wood, lugging it into your home and stoking the fire to keep the house bearable, like dressing in heavy layers, and chipping the ice and snow off your car.  

Yes, thoes are our cars under the snow and no snowblower that storm.

Guess we won't be grilling 
Adult Snowsuit

Always in shorts 

And shorts again

Now being part of the southern California culture I realize how strong and mentally strong people from New England are.  

People we run into here say they love the snow... really?! Have you been out of power for 10 days because of the ice and snow?  Had to roof rake?  Many have no clue what that is and when you explain it to them they are still baffled by it.  Have you ever had a sporting event outside that was 25 degrees as your kids are running around the field and you are slowly getting frost bite?  

Oh, no? You go to Big Bear and Mammoth Mountain where you ski and have fun for the weekend and then you can escape the snow in just 2 hours and be back in your shorts and flip flops.  That is not winter.  Yes, super pretty and fun but no, not real.  

I watch people here when it rains.  You would think the end of the world is coming.  People drive like there  is a foot of snow on the roads, news alerts all day, and all conversations revolve around how they got to their car or stores in the rain.  Rain in New England is typical and expected.  No problem. And when it does snow back east people drive like the pavement is dry, 65mph is a whiteout is normal.  

I am glad I grew up in New England and could experience all the seasons.  I am glad I learned how to be strong in wild weather and learn how to survive with a lot of hard work.  Many tears and pulled muscles living in that environment.   Glad my kids got to experience this too and have made them tough and now value the 330 days of sunshine.  

With all that said, I am slowly becoming acclimated to this SoCal life.  I am typing this as my heater is on under my desk and it is 70 degrees out.  My arches are falling due to my daily wear of flip flops.  I get bothered when it is cloudy out. Things are pricier out here but to me my mental state is worth the extra $$$.  I do still get anxiety when I see the weather posts from the east coast but have to remind myself I am living in one of the best places in the USA, just wish I could have taken some of you with us here and our New England sport teams. ( Yes, Kurt I said it I like the Patriots)


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