I ♥ Maine Winters - Part I
by Lill Hawkins

You know winter has gone on too long
when your spouse says "Good morning,
Sweets," and you snap, "Do you have
to be so sarcastic?"

When your son says, "Mom, we're getting low on milk" and you snarl, "No
problem. I'll just shovel the driveway and three or four roads and whip right on
into town and get some."

By the end of a long winter in Maine even the sunniest optimist is a little edgy.
In my case, by March, the only safe question to ask me is, "Would you like some
more Jim Beam to go with that cheesecake?"

By about April 1st, if there's still snow on the ground, I find myself throwing
snowballs at the snow and shrieking, "I am NOT a bipolar bear" at the gray sky.
It doesn't help, but it gets me some exercise to counteract the fifteen pounds I
gain from December to March. It's not so much that Maine winters are snowier
or colder than winters elsewhere. It's just that they go on for way too long.

The first snowfall is beautiful and we all ooh and ahh at the trees covered in
snow that glistens like diamonds in the sun. By February, the trees just look
stupid covered in snow. The evergreens look like dunce caps and the
hardwoods look like firewood piled vertically instead of horizontally. And
speaking of firewood, if the price of oil goes up any further, we'll be burning
our furniture in fifty gallon drums to heat the house.

We do have a pellet stove, which we cleverly bought two years ago when
pellets were $4.99/bag and plentiful. Now, they're $6.99/bag if you can find
them and getting scarcer. So we go from pellet store to pellet store, like beggars
cadging alms. I feel like Oliver Twist holding out his bowl at the orphanage and
asking for more, and I get about the same result.

I've even thought of trying to chop down some of our trees and turn them into
pellets, but I'm having a leeetle trouble with the part where you apply massive
amounts of pressure and steam to the pellets to create the resin that holds them
together. I have a feeling the two quart kettle and pressure cooker just aren't
gonna make it.

We could go solar, except that it costs so much that it'd take about 25 years to
recoup our costs, and I'm not sure I can live through 25 more Maine winters.

Not to mention that if I did survive to get it, it'd just go to pay for the health care
I'd need after making it to 81 yrs old in Maine. Of course when the geek retires,
we could do what so many other Mainers do and head south for the winter.

But what with global warming, and rising ocean levels, we figure that we might
be able to just move to Southern Vermont or New Hampshire year-round, or
back to Rhode Island where we grew up. Although on second thought, there are
worse things than long winters, like Rhode Island politics and living in one big
parking lot for the malls that ate a state.

Guess I'd better get a bigger kettle, a bigger pressure cooker and a bigger
cheesecake. (They don't make a bigger bottle of Jim Beam. I checked.)

See " I Love Maine Winters" Part II...

About the author: Lill Hawkins lives in Maine and writes about family life, home
education and being a WAHM at
Hawk Hills Acres Blog. Get the News From Hawkhill
Acres: A mostly humorous look at home schooling, writing and being a WAHM, whose
mantra is "I'm a willow; I can bend."
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