Monday, December 7, 2009


I'm beginning to feel that that the stereotype is true. New Englanders are a rugged sort.

And one would have to be, wouldn't one? In my very short tenure here, I've already raked more leaves and shoveled more snow than I ever did during my nineteen years in Austin.

At least there's a certain romance to the leaf raking and snow shoveling. A sense of living in rhythm with the seasons. Plus there is the added benefit of a decent (and inexpensive) cardio workout. A rake and shovel are relatively cheap. The leaves and snow are free. After a few minutes of shoveling, I had shed my Nanook puffy coat in favor of just a sweatshirt layer. Afterwards, the effects could be felt everywhere from biceps to hamstrings.

Living with true seasons demands rigor and discipline. If you're not physically handling the tree detritus, you're scheduling their removal. You're taking out lawn furniture and bringing it in. Likewise with sporting equipment. You deal with gutters (or if you don't deal with gutters, then you deal with ice dams). You ready yourself with salt and scrapers and sand and blankets while your southern counterparts blithely stroll about in shorts.

Perhaps this is why I've seen more LLBean-clad septuagenarians hiking trails and walking to their daily errands here than I'd ever seen in Austin. Granted, Austin is a very youthful city. However, I was much more likely to see the 70+ set enjoying their early bird dining at Luby's than striding along Town Lake or SoCo.

So this is my new goal. I don't want to age into a scheduled regimen of Botox and discreet lifts. I aspire to be that lululemon-clad septuagenarian. Kidding! That LLBean-clad septuagenarian striding through a keen, frosty winter day, rugged and vital and vigorous, honed by years of living through seasons.

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