Last year was my first winter living on the New Hampshire beach. Commuting to Boston for work and to Vermont on the weekends to snowboard proved not to be such a big deal, and I had this stupid belief that living on the ocean would not produce as much snow. My brain kept tossing around phrases like "Gulf Stream" which I then very nicely translated into "less snow". In reality, the beach yielded just as much snow as the 120 inches we received in Vermont. The key difference (I learned the hard way) was that Vermont possesses one very important component that's missing in the tight confines of a NH beach, and that's plenty of space to plow and dump the stuff. I also quickly learned that even in The Live Free or Die State, there are zoning laws about when, where and at what volume one can actually move snow. In Vermont, snow is snow, and the only law is just dump it anywhere...and quickly...because there's more coming tomorrow.
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With early morning temps now in the low 40s on the beach, my thoughts and heart are now being tugged back to Vermont, the birthplace of my father, my grandfather and three generations before him. It's where my wonderful son, Joshua, was born and still evidences his roots in everything from his email address to his passion of snowboarding. Interestingly enough, even though I've lived in Vermont-sometimes full time, sometimes as a weekender-over the past 40 years and even though five generations of Vermonters have gone before me, the dirty little secret is that since I was born on the south side of Chicago, I'll never be recognized as a true Vermonter by the boys on the bench down at the general store. Having said that, when asked by those same good ol' boys about my background, I merely talk about generations of Vermont ancestors and my son and leave out the part about my growing up in a first generation Polish neighborhood of meat cutters and steel workers.