No One Ever Compared Me to a Summer’s Day

I like to be snowed in.

It doesn’t happen much anymore because I don’t live in the frozen Midwest anymore, where we once woke up on a frigid morning to find that the front porch had fallen off the house.

Even though they’re teenagers now, my younger kids still yearn to wake to that pure, healing blanket of a recent snowfall: Obligingly, here on the coast, where this spit of land is surrounded on three sides by water, it usually disappears in a day or two (except in Boston, which is a sort of nexus of crazy weather).

When I was a very young woman, my grandparents moved to Florida, to some place so cartoonishly tropical that oranges and lemons and grapefruit drooped from the backyard trees.

The weather was uniformly glorious, if a little sticky in the summer. My grandfather went fishing every day. My grandmother could sit out on her porch and spy on the neighbors (her greatest delight) in her sleeveless housedress.

They absolutely hated it.

My grandmother once copied out some lines from a poem that read (if I recall),


Let me see branches black against a winter sky

Let me go home to snow before I die


It’s not that I don’t adore those bonny and beneficent days of summer. I just think that you have better moral fiber if you earn them!

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