Up here in the Northeast, up in God’s Country, we have three seasons. They are summer, winter and mud. You may ask, “what about autumn? You must have gorgeous colors on the trees in autumn.” Yes, this is true – it’s why busloads of tourists from the Midwest and South love to come here in September and October, riding through the countryside “leaf peeping” and spending tons of cash. Autumn is a colorful transition between summer and winter. Mud season isn’t until late March, so we have to contend with winter.
Winter has dumped over 2 feet of snow on the coastal towns. We have more snow that some of the communties up country, and we’d love to truck some of it to them. They’re also welcome to the ice on the streets, too. It’s a package deal. We’ll even throw in a couple windshield scrapers and a bucketload of sand/salt mix.
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But enough ranting about winter – congratulations to the Green Bay Packers on winning the Super Bowl. I’m a Patriots fan, but I am also a traditionalist. There are certain organizations who keep it real. My Red Sox, the Yankees, any Original Six hockey franchise (Boston Bruins, Chicago Black Hawks, Montreal Canadiens, Toronto Maple Leafs, Detroit Red Wings, and New York Rangers), my Boston Celtics, LA Lakers – they respect tradition and respect the fans. The Packers are owned by the community, not an absentee ownership. The best tradition in Green Bay is during training camp. The local kids will carry the player’s helmet while the player rides their bike between the locker room and practice field. It’s a hoot seeing the grown men riding kids’ bikes, their knees wedged in behind the handlebars, trying to pedal while wobbling. I find it endearing, almost quaint. In this age of multi-milion dollar contracts, stratospherical ticket prices, and detached players, this ritual is proof that the game, any game, is the most important.
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I did the preliminary “number crunching” on my taxes – 1040EZ, and the return isn’t what I hoped it would be. BUT….I will have enough coming back from Uncle Sam to renew my passport. It is my ticket to get out of Dodge and LIVE! Not having my passport doesn’t mean I can’t travel, but it limits it to the Lower 48. I have a friend in Canada with whom I’d love to share dinner and drinks. Without the passport, unfortunately, she and her paramour would have an empty chair at the dinner table. I have made a decision that, once my former home is put up for sale and I get my share of the money, I am going to Europe. I have friends in Germany, Scotland and France, and I want to visit them. More reasons to get my passport renewed!