Post image for IS IT FALL YET??


by Sava

I know that last October I wrote about being in Vermont in September and freezing the first two weeks after having left 90 degree weather here at home. So I know it was hot but not THIS hot…this heat wave is bringing Southern California roasting triple-digit temperatures. It’s all anyone can talk about these days so I’m NOT going to mention it again!

Instead I’m going to reminisce about winters in New Hampshire where I was raised. Anyone who knows me knows I moved to California because I am NOT a winter person. However, I don’t mind thinking about those frosty, winter mornings, waking up and hearing the snowplows going by. Running to the kitchen to find out that school had been cancelled and filled with excitement, we were barely able to eat breakfast in our rush to get bundled up and get outside. We couldn’t wait to start building our tunnels through the snow banks the plows had created. If we worked fast enough we could also have our fort built and a supply of snowballs ready for the inevitable snowball fight with the other kids in the neighborhood! Whoever came out first, though, got to be on our team against the rest of them! We took turns replenishing our supply of snowballs as they flew back and forth across Berkeley Street. That could go on for hours. The sun was high in the sky, reflecting off the pure whiteness of the mounds of sparkling snow. The sky was an incredible, crisp, winter blue, and if there were any clouds they were white and billowy, almost like reflections of the snowmounds. By the time our mittens were soggy and smelled of wool, our feet were really cold and thankfully, it was time for lunch. We put all our wet clothes on the warm radiators so they would be dry enough to go right back out!

One Friday night, I with my friends, decided to go down the street to Everett’s Pond for a skating party. There were flood lights on the roof, so it wasn’t pitch black but dark enough! One of our favorite things was the whip…when everyone joined hands and skated in a line until the leader stopped and pulled everyone into a circle. As we all gathered around the leader, we suddenly heard a loud, bone-chilling !CRACK! and the ice we were standing on sank into the pond. It was surreal and took a moment to register. In the midst of our screams, the icy water slowly seeped through our snow suits and we all scrambled to get out. Fortunately it wasn’t deep and we were all able to help each other get out. By the time we had counted heads, our clothes were frozen solid. I wish we could have taken a picture of the icicles hanging from our snow hats, and our hair in frozen clumps. We all lived within walking distance of the pond and when I came through the back door into the kitchen, my Mom was aghast at the sight. She didn’t have to ask what happened, she just rushed over and started peeling off the frozen layers of my clothes. Luckily, we weren’t out there long enough for hypothermia to set in or frostbite, but that hot bath never felt so good!

Great memories, but do I miss it? Would I want to go back to live in the cold, frosty, icy climate of New Hampshire winters? No, thank you. I get cool enough just thinking about it!! (But I wouldn’t mind if it were a few degrees cooler here right now!)

Try to stay cool… think popsicles!  See you next time.

{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Georgia Cone September 16, 2014 at 4:10 pm

Hi! That photo brings back memories of our 2 years in Madison Wisc. Those mid-western winters can be far more severe than our New England winters. If you enjoy the dramatic cycle of the change of seasons, as we do,you wouldn’t live anywhere else ! At least in the cold it’s always possible and not difficult to get the comfort of warmth quickly and easily; warm clothes, the heat of a wood stove, hot chocolate and popcorn =cozy bliss !. Anyway, you gotta be there ! Every place has its best and its worst and some of us are lucky enough to choose what we like the best. Cook the food that is the comfort food of the time and place;the natural way of things. Tonight ,a 65 degree gray day with afternoon sun ,one of the last days of summer, we feasted on roast chicken, sweet corn on the cob, spinach and feta salad ,fried zuchinni and fresh dug red potatoes simply boiled and dressed with brown butter and parsley. Yum and good night .We wish coolness to descend on the hot and smokey !Californians


Sava September 16, 2014 at 4:27 pm

That all sounds very yummy as you enjoy your last days of summer in Vermont. Could Indian Summer be far behind? You even make the cold winter sound inviting… I’m afraid when it is this hot the thought of cooking does not appeal to me, but as it cools down late in the day, we can put the grill to good use and avoid heating up the kitchen. So right now I wish we had some of that incomparable Vermont sweet corn on the cob, dripping with butter! Please pass the salt!


Penny Jessop September 20, 2014 at 8:25 am

I have an image of our boots tucked into the stone wall by Everett’s Pond.
(I suspect that strategy was a defensive tactic to curtail our wonderful old St Bernard, Chris, from dragging them home to our house!)

We’ve had our first frost here in Maine,which sweetens the grapes and crab apples, making them perfect for jelly.

This crisp and colorful time of year is so fleeting and wonderful, I wish I could be sharing some cider and apple brownies with all the old neighborhood,tromping through Steven’s Field, down to Dare Devil’s Hill to plan our sledding techniques for winter!


Sava September 25, 2014 at 7:33 pm

Hi Penny, I had totally forgotten about the boots stuck into the stone wall!! What an image! Remember before Stevens’ field there was a partial field with apple trees that we sometimes picked if the old guy wasn’t running out yelling at us? Good ole Chris…Susie and I used to dress him up in some old dresses and bonnets then laugh hysterically. He would immediately go into “sulk mode” cause he knew we were laughing at him. He was the best dog with all of us kids. He accidentally squashed our cat Skunky…he really didn’t mean it. He was just trying to move her away from his food dish on our back porch! As much as I don’t like winter, I must say I love the fall in New Hampshire! Not yet bone-chilling, but the air is fragrant with the leaves on the ground and smoke wafting up through the chimneys. Loved tobogganing down Daredevil’s Hill. I think that was the only time I didn’t mind the freezing cold air and snow-soaked clothes. Sweet memories…thanks for tuning in!


Don Surprenant September 20, 2014 at 10:52 am

Sometimes I miss the Nashua Winters, but I always remind myself of the not so good times that heavy snow made my chores almost impossible.
My great uncle lived on the corner of Stark Street and Rockland Street. I would have to shovel the sidewalks and driveway and not get a cent. On Sunday storm had a foot of snow on the ground and more coming down. By the time I had done both sidewalk and driveway I had to do it all over again. I started at noon and finished in the dark.
Another time, I started doing my newspaper route after school (about 3:30) and delivered my usual 110 papers during a blizzard. I trudged through snow for about 3 hours going from Granite St. to Berkeley St. to Chester St. and finishing on Raymond Street. The wind on strong and drift where building up. I believe that the Nashua Telegraph paid me 45 cents for that day.


Sava September 25, 2014 at 7:38 pm

Hi Don, That was quite a chore you had and not very much appreciated by your uncle!! I remember, after dinner, I would go outside with my siblings and start shoveling (in between making snow angels) our own driveway and front walk, and no sooner finished, it would start snowing again. The only thing that made it OK was the thought that school would be called off in the morning!! And it usually was! Those were my favorite winter days! Thanks for leaving a memory of Nashua winters… I love looking back!


Deb Maclean September 25, 2014 at 4:46 pm

One of my favorite memories of New Hampshire winters, in addition to skating on Everett’s Pond and sledding down Dare Devil’s Hill, is building a snow tunnel next to the driveway between our houses. One time it collapsed on a kid and my dad had to save the day. Another memory is of me walking to school in the snow and finding out I was the only one that went that day. We somehow didn’t get the news that it was a snow day. On the way home kids were laughing at me because I had gone to school. I told them I hadn’t gone – I was just taking a stroll. You know, how an eight-year-old does at 7:00 am on a snowy morning.

I’m not so crazy about the snow and ice now as I used to be, but I wouldn’t trade those winters back then for anything.


Sava September 25, 2014 at 7:57 pm

Hi Deb, I think I can say the same thing…I wouldn’t trade those winters back then for anything! I don’t know how you missed the ‘no school’ message. First thing we would do when we got up and looked out at the piles of snow from the night before was run downstairs and listen to the radio. My Mom usually had it on already and would announce there was no school. There was no better feeling than that!! Even though it was early, we never went back to bed to sleep in. We were too anxious to get ouside. That is until I became a teenager, then I would go back to bed to read until my Mom would finally come up and say, “Don’t you think you’ve stayed in bed long enough young lady??!!” Of course I didn’t agree but I knew that was “code” for “get out of bed now!!” so I didn’t dare disagree at that point! I can just see little eight-year-old you getting to school and seeing no one there!!!

These are some of the memories that make up the fabric of our lives. Thanks, Deb.


Maddie October 3, 2014 at 1:09 pm

Hi y’all,

I’m not going to add any great story about the good old winters in Nashua because I left not long after the “Blizzard of ’78’ and have never regretted the move to California, but I do want to tell you that last night I made the recipe of “Baked Vegetables” from Page 116 of your famous and fabulous book. It was delish. The only thing I changed was the potatoes. I only had small red ones on hand, so I sliced them and didn’t even peel them. I thought of you with every bite and there are plenty of leftovers to enjoy. Yummo!



Sava October 21, 2014 at 1:38 pm

Thanks, Maddie. It is one of my favorites. I love having it leftover for a few days, too! The other nice thing about it is you can improvise like you did if you don’t have everything! Thanks for the comment! Yia sou!


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