Welcome to New England where our most popular regional sport is politics. Football, baseball, basketball and hockey cannot compete with the joys of arguing politics. That this year is politically the worst experience since we drove out the British only means that all our other complaints will have to wait in line until the political rage has been satisfied, at least temporarily.

When politics and sports are finished, we move on to the single sport in which everyone, of any age, can actively compete.


From bitterly cold to stiflingly hot, we’ve got the perfect weather to cover it.

Winter is too long, too snowy, too icy, and much too cold. I couldn’t agree more. Everyone is cranky and whiny from the first flakes through final melting. Of course, mud season, the inevitable followup to the heavy snow, is no one’s favorite, discounting the dogs who revel in it.

Spring? What spring? Where are the flowers? Why can’t we get a decent spring season? Is this the punishment of a malign deity? Until the lilies bloom, New Englanders are cranky.

Some time during May, summer drops by, usually in mid-afternoon. The morning is comfortable until the temperature goes way up there, the humidity moves in. The leaves on the trees droop and it is definitely summer. Which is always too hot. Muggy. Humid. Or, it may not be hot enough.

“Hey, how come it’s June and we still need heat?”  

Those triple H days — hot, hazy, and humid — give us a collective headache. Cranky and whiny, that’s us.

Autumn is everyone’s favorite season except it’s much too short. and there are oceans of dead leaves to shovel. We rate our autumn by brightness of leaf and you can stand on line in the grocery and hear people commenting that “this one isn’t as good as the year before last and who remembers 2012? Wasn’t that a doozy?”

We live in the “Snow and Long Commutes” region. Especially the snow. And Worcester.

On a bad year, heavy rains from a southern tropical storm drives up the coast and ruins the foliage. Which makes everyone cranky. And whiny. We get over it if the Sox are in the playoffs, but are even crankier if they are not. I know people on Facebook who, in the middle of a summer-long drought during which we haven’t gotten a drop of rain, will rant furiously on the day the drought breaks. I bet they’d be even more cranky and whiny if their well went dry . That would be a big, serious rant!

New England. What’s not to love?


In the course of the past week of hunting for all of my nice shirts, I found a small black poncho I bought years ago from J.Jill. I wore it possibly once before it vanished. Turned out, it was underneath something else on a shelf in the closet. Black, so it pretty much vanished into the shadows. It’s back! Yay!

I also found all the clothing I was missing. Apparently, when we came back from Connecticut, I didn’t finish unpacking my bag. It has been sitting about four feet from this bed. Neatly packed. I know my blouses are in it — I looked — and for all I know, my green earrings are there, too.

The bad part? How in the world did I forget to unpack? I have to step over that bag every time I go to the bathroom.

Everyone tells me it isn’t really senility, even though I personally feel like I’m slipping a few cogs. I worry me. I used to be able to remember all kinds of stuff. Details of software and telephone numbers. Addresses and the names and derivations of antiques. These days, I’m lucky if I remember the name of the doctor I’m seeing today.

The good news? Eventually, everything comes back. The thing I couldn’t remember yesterday will pop up tomorrow, bright and shiny. Like my newly recovered poncho. It has been waiting for me for at least two years. In the closet. Neatly folded. Tonight, I got to wear it as if I had just bought it all over again.

Forgetting comes with the option of remembering stuff. As if it was new. Again.

That’s good, right?


Posted on April 9, 2017 by Sean Munger in History

One hundred and fifty-two years ago today, on April 9, 1865, Confederate commanding General Robert E. Lee surrendered his forces to the Union commander General Ulysses Grant in a short ceremony. It happened at the house of Wilmer McLean, located in Appomattox Court House, Virginia. This was not the total end of fighting in the Civil War, but it was the end of organized and official resistance. It was a turning point in American history, and the McLean House is quite rightly recognized as one of the most historically important buildings in the United States.

The day on which the surrender occurred was a Sunday, and, as it is this year (2017), also Palm Sunday. It was the start of a triumphant but also tragic week in U.S. history. The major bloodletting of the Civil War was brought to an end on Sunday, but at the beginning of the next weekend, Friday, April 14, President Abraham Lincoln was shot at Ford’s Theater in Washington, D.C. He died early Saturday morning, the 15th. I doubt there have been many single weeks in the history of the United States that have been more momentous–or that have ranged so far an emotional gamut from elation and triumph to the depths of national despair.

Less than a week after the surrender at Appomattox, Abraham Lincoln was assassinated at Ford’s Theater in Washington. Unknown to the public, however, he was dying of cancer at the time.

PLEASE SEE THE REST OF THE POST: From triumph to tragedy: one historic week in April 1865.