November is an in-between month here in New England. The days grow shorter rapidly, there’s more sky to see as the deciduous trees have finally lost their leaves, and the buses of “leaf peepers” have disappeared. Winter is in the air but no snow has fallen yet in my seacoast area of New Hampshire. Although with temperatures in the 30’s, it won’t be long. I grew up in southern California and the family moved to New England when I was in my early teens. It was quite a shock. Certainly, there was the beauty of fall and the excitement of waiting for the first snowfall but most of all it was the New England quirks of language and pronunciation that confused me.
In Home Economics I was told I needed a “patn”. I couldn’t figure out what that was, can you? Someone asked me where the bubbler was and I hadn’t a clue about what it was, do you? Then a friend invited me to get a “frappe” – a what? During the summer, we’d walk to the ice cream store and have them put “jimmies” on our cones. For a while it was almost like being in a foreign country, but things gradually worked out. During “muggy” summers, I learned what high humidity feels like and as I got older, I recognized that a “beater” was the best car I could afford and while driving I kept an eye out for a “cruiser”. And, although it took a while, I did learn to drive properly in a rotary.
Returning to New England after living in northern California for decades feels like returning home. I know that I may turn the AC and the heat on during the same day. Yes, temperature can change that fast here. I keep an ice scraper in my car all year long because you never know. I enjoy the fact that New Hampshire is one of 5 states with no sales tax and recognize the abundance of shopping areas on the state’s borders for those folks who want to take advantage of that fact. I don’t drink much Moxie because of its bitter taste and occasionally enjoy a whoppie pie, the official state treat of Maine. And I support the Maine law making it illegal to put tomatoes in clam chowdah. Best wishes to you all for a happy and satisfying holiday season,