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a slice of life: winter in massachusetts

Last blog post was a nostalgic look at high school and today while grocery shopping I used my Super Stop & Shop bag and got all nostalgic for winters in Massachusetts of all things.  Here's a little blurb I wrote the last time this happened to me.  And let me just say it is easy to romanticize Massachusetts winters when you haven't experienced one for a while.  You'll see....

“on the way to work”

The car heater is whirring and I’m wishing I had purchased the heated seat option like Kristi has in her minivan.  I’ve got the radio cranked up and tuned into the local pop station where Bruno Mars is singing “Grenade”, his current block-busting hit about unrequited love.  As always I panic as I pass over the iron drawbridge, terrified of getting caught vertically on the ledge, or even worse falling into the water.  But all is well and I continue on through the industrial part of town that is my short cut to work.  To prevent skidding I try to follow the other cars’ tracks that cut through the ice and snow, and believe me it takes some serious concentration to do so.  I probably drive a lot slower than the average New Englander but I will never get used to driving in inclement weather.

Almost a half hour later I pull into the rear entrance of the mall’s parking garage.  Today is a good day because the entrance is open.  On an icy day, when most cars would be unable to safely climb up the steep ramp, security blocks it off.  I park as close to the giant glass door entrance as I can, slipping in between two other employees cars that are encrusted with the typical winter road debris of salt and sand.
Even though the sliding doors are mere yards away, I bundle up as if going on an arctic exploration:  parka zipped to the chin, wool scarf wrapped over my mouth, and fleece gloves firmly secured.   I grab my pink pleather lunch bag and give a shiver of apprehension.

Outside the icy air stings my cheeks and bites at my ankles that only have a thin layer of sock to protect them.  My muscles immediately tense against the cold and I waddle with stiff arms and legs towards the door. The going is slow because I have to keep a sharp eye on the ground to avoid any patches of ice that I could slip on.  Then finally - Whoosh!  I sail through the entryway and am immediately cacooned in the warmth of industrial strength heaters.  

It is shorts and T-shirt weather inside the mall, and the empty hallways smell of everything shiny and new.   Whenever I pass by the Forever 21 store and see all the funky, youthful outfits on the manikins, I vow to be more creative in my dress.  Is 44 too old to shop at Forever 21 I wonder.  I start undoing all my outerwear but arrive at the entrance to Sephora before I am completely unwrapped.  I knock on the glass front door and Tammy pops her head above the streamlined shelving units inside.  I wave and she comes over to let me in. 


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