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Inside Yankee: Do Winter Right

Inside Yankee: Do Winter Right
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I came to New England for the first time during a snowstorm in January 1970. To me it seemed that everyone took hard, snowy winters for granted, as if five-foot drifts were as normal as breathing. Winter just happened–be happy.

The wood I ordered then cost $25 a cord. We all wore wool shirts and wool hats, and the children I taught at a little school in Maine never thought to stay indoors on cold days; they couldn’t wait to get outside. Many of them told me that winter was their favorite time. You skated on ponds, brought sleds to local hills; when school was canceled you made snowmen or snow forts. You joined winter; you didn’t hide out until spring.

Somewhere, somehow, a lot of us lost that love of winter. The more that electronic gadgetry entered our lives, the less attractive those snow-covered hills and sugar-on-snow parties became. And then, of course, global warming did its part, and many winters seemed more like long, extended Novembers–all browns and muted grays.

But then came the winter of 2008: record snows, drifts covering our windows, small ski areas with limited snowmaking rejoicing, kids everywhere tossing away video and computer games to go out sledding. Okay, maybe not that, but we can dream.

I’m a lover of winter’s possibilities, and I hope these pages stir in you some forgotten memories of how much fun, and how beautiful, these days can be. For starters, Annie B. Copps shares the soothing flavors of her favorite comfort foods. Once you’re nourished, travel with us to one of the most unique places on Earth: Mount Washington in winter, where I spent two days and met climbing guide and photographer Joe Lentini.

To find your inner child, just turn the pages of “17 Ways to Winter Fun”. I’ve lived in New England nearly 40 years now but somehow didn’t know about the four-mile ice-skating loop trail on Lake Morey in Fairlee, Vermont. Shame on me for not knowing; double shame if I don’t go there this year once the lake freezes.

From whipping up perfect hot chocolate to building a snowman that would make a 1970s-era kid proud, I hope this issue reminds you how lucky we are to feel the nip of a north wind now and again.

Mel Allen, Editor,

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Updated Tuesday, December 16th, 2008

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