Wednesday, February 24, 2010

End of Winter Blahs

New England...the land of changeable weather. Usually I love living in this part of the country. We usually get hot summers, bright and colorful falls, and cold, snowy winters. Then there is spring. In my head spring is warm and flowery with rain showers and puddle jumping.

But that's in other parts of the country, or in books and movies. Not here in the Northeast.

While it's not spring yet, we're pretty close (24 days), and the emergence of spring weather patterns have gotten me a bit down. Rain and slush. Cold and raw. Hardly cheerful things. It's my least favorite season.

What is even worse is my commute to work in the spring. I live about 30 miles outside Boston, and travel along the weird weather lines that Massachusetts has. It seems that these weather lines have been there for at least a hundred years or more, as the main roadways outline each approaching storm. We have the Mass Pike as the north/south boundary, and Rts 495/95/93 as the east/west lines. Well, I have to cross all but one of these lines to get to my office (I live inside the 495 barrier--which essentially separates eastern and central MA).

For example, this morning I woke up to snow. The trees were heavy with it, bowing the boughs towards the snow covered landscape. We had to get out the snow blower to clear the plowed in driveway, and many of the schools around us were either closed or had 2+ hours delayed opening. Having to run errands after work, I needed to drive into the subway instead of taking the commuter rail. After shoveling the back walk so we could get in and out of the house without trekking in snow all over the kitchen, I got in my car and cautiously drove down the snow packed street. The main roads were clearer and I drove the 5 miles out to Rt. 2, a small divided highway that runs east/west. Once I hit the highway, I noticed the pretty snow had changed over to a sleety mess. No problem, I'm in my car! Ten minutes later I cross the 95 barrier and it's raining. Pouring actually. Wipers on high, I keep going and enter the MBTA parking garage, park, and head into the subways. When I pop out of the orange line 30 minutes later, I could have walked straight into the April showers. Lashing rains, winds, and...well, it's nearly warm. I put my snow gloves and hat into my purse and wish for an umbrella.

It's going to be like this for the rest of the week. Unpredictable. Wet. Coldish. Looking at the weather map from my dry office with rain drizzling outside my window, I see that it's still snowing at my house. My urban dwelling co-workers don't believe me. But right now we're 500 feet south of the Pike, and right on the 93 border. There's a gale coming off the water a quarter mile away. 30 miles away they are getting 6 inches of the white stuff throughout the day. Then rain showers all tomorrow. What a mess.

Spring. Definitely not my favorite season. It sounds full of hope and promise, but then drips cold water down the back of your neck, soaking your t-shirt you put on in hopes of a 40 degree plus day.

Oh yes, this is New England. T-shirts come out when the mercury pops above 40. Where spring hopes are eternal.

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