SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Opinion

February 7, 2014

Our view: We are not our forefathers' New Englanders

It’s 2014, and we feel confident in saying that we are no longer the New Englanders that we are fabled to be.

We don’t trudge six miles uphill, both ways, to get to school during a blinding snowstorm. We don’t have blankets squirreled away in the back of the car in anticipation of spending a bonechilling night stuck somewhere on a forlorn stretch of highway bumper-deep in snow. There’s no gridlock of grimly determined commuters fighting their way along a barely plowed stretch of asphalt.

No, those days are behind us.

Instead, we’re comfortable calling in a “snow day” and working from home. We don’t get by on whatever questionable “must sniff first” leftover the fridge may hold. We hit the supermarkets and fill our carts, and not just with way too much bread and milk. No, these days the cashiers tell us the most popular item for the pre-storm prep crowd is ice cream. If there’s more than an inch of snow on the road, we curse out the snowplow guys.

We don’t even have the mental toughness to set the alarm for 5:30 a.m. to get up and see whether school is canceled. These days, the announcements are made before the 11 p.m. news broadcast comes on, ensuring a fitful night of slumber.

Does anyone even own a fur-lined ugly green parka anymore?

Our forefathers would shake their heads in disappointment. Our famous grizzle and grit are gone. We’re more like New Yorkers, except with a lot more trees and grass.

This latest snowstorm is a pretty good example. The weather forecasters had us girding for more than a foot of snow, and so virtually everything was shut down and the ice cream shelves took a big hit. By the time the snow finally stopped, the inch counts in most places fell short of that.

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