Fred’s Festival of Dead Leaves

Today is a sad day.

I have to make an admission…I’m becoming acclimated.

Early this morning, wearing my usual attire of an aloha shirt, Levis and Vans, I was driving along, thinking what a lovely warm day it was. I had the window half down, classic rock filled the old Xterra, I admired natures last show of the year when I saw it. The temperature on the bank sign said 63 degrees…


63 degrees is the time to pull out the electric blankets and start piling up firewood. And 63 degrees in the daytime means even colder at night. We’re talking survival temps here! And me without any Thinsulate protection.




I had a climatological flashback – Chicago – Brainerd, Minnesota – New freakin’ Jersey. I remember when the mercury blew out the bottom of the thermometer and the wind chill factor made it actually colder than the surface of Pluto. (I know, Uranus is actually the coldest planet in the solar system but it seemed too easy a joke…)


Ever since we landed here in New England the major topic has been the weather. The people around here are the biggest weather whiners in the lower 48. (Alaskans never even talk about the cold and the folks in Hawaii have absolutely nothing to complain about) I had a lady who was collecting canned goods at church tell me the winters are – and I quote – “A wicked pisser”. I guess this is proper Bostonian church talk. The other thing I’ve realized is that every advertiser on radio, TV and in the papers jumps on the winter paranoia bandwagon no matter what their product. “Winter’s coming  – you need a new waffle maker”, “It’s time for your insurance check-up, before your fingers freeze off”, “We won’t be digging graves in this weather so make your final arrangements NOW!” It’s like the Presidents Day White Sale, Black Friday and “…we’re blowing ‘em out before the new models arrive!” all at once.

Didn’t this weather happen, oh I don’t know, 12 MONTHS AGO…and every stinkin’ year back to 1620! Sheesh people.

Since we now live in the land of four seasons (Arctic Blast, Allergens, Heat/ Humidity and Dead Leaves) imagine my surprise to realize that 63 degrees didn’t seem , well, that cold. It also depressed me, so I turned in one of my Get Out Of Massachusetts Free cards and will be heading for the Pacific next time Amy’s back is turned.

Note to locals: I don’t want thick blood, I don’t think of snow shoes as a fashion accessory and I don’t need a new waffle maker.

I’d go drink a beer but I can’t find any MGD.


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