By Robert Gillis
Published in the Foxboro reporter January, 1997

Booth Field Foxboro (2015)
Booth Field Foxboro (2015)

The icy blast of the alarm clock jostled most of us out of our beds this morning. The browning Christmas tree that we worked so hard to make just right is (hopefully) at the Foxboro compost heap waiting to become so much chipper fodder. The holiday lights are put away. New Year’s hangovers have hopefully subsided.

Normal life has returned. For the past few weeks it’s been back to school, back to work, and for those of us who worked during holiday weeks, back to more formal attire. The sneakers and genes have been returned to the closet for the dress slacks, shirts, and ties. Everyone is back from vacation. The commute to work is longer, more crowded.

Coming up: three months of ice, snow, cold, and gray days. At noon, the sun seems a shadow of its blazing summer self. It gets dark at 4:30 PM. Not to mention three months of those bozos in the elevator, lamenting that, “it’s not really the cold but the wind chill factor” that makes it so cold. (These are the same clowns who tell you that, “it’s not the heat, it’s the humidity,” during the summer months.)

Since we don’t hibernate in the winter, we need to brave this unforgiving season in order to survive. And unless you’re into winter sports, winter is tough and not something to be joyfully anticipated.

Most of New England is still pretty shell-shocked from last year’s record 100 inch snowfall. We sympathize with the Western states who have been buried under heavy snow, and even the minor snow dustings we’ve received have seemed worse than they really were. That, coupled with the fact that last summer was one of the coolest on record, will add up to one miserable season to look forward to.

At least you don’t have to mow the lawn every Saturday, and the mosquitoes really aren’t too bad this time of year.

But make no mistake, this is a hard season to get through and part of the problem is the sheer amount of events, activities, and responsibilities that we crammed into the month of December. How many parties did you attend last month? How many holiday gatherings? How many charitable things did you do last month? How many hours did you spend decking the halls, shopping malls, and trying to stay ahead of the great holiday list? It’s no wonder the January such a letdown for most of us.

Rather than to read the upcoming winter months, enjoy them. Sometimes we have to slow down and catch our breath, and for some of us, perhaps the only way will slow down is that winter forces us to do so.

Now is the time to get the little things done. Now is the time to finish (or start) the indoor projects. Now is the time to be a little more reflective about life, and where you’re going in it. Now is the time to remember that all those holiday charities and causes that you helped out last month need your help all year long.

Now is a great time to read the books you got for Christmas. Now is the time to rent a movie and snuggle with your significant other. Now is a great time to catch up with friends for lunch and movies.

Now is a great time to make a colorful GO PATRIOTS! Sign to put in your window or to write a letter or make a call to keep the patriots in Foxboro. Valentine’s Day is coming up. If you don’t have someone to share the day with, make February 14 the day you do something extra nice for yourself. St. Patrick’s Day will be here soon, and Irish or not, it’s an opportunity for parties and parades.

If none of this makes you feel any better, take heart. Before you know it will be driving with the windows open and doing outside work. Planning Fourth of July parties and summer cookouts. Swimming. Sailing.

Before you’ll know it will all be sitting on booth playground, watching the skies light up in brilliant primary colors, already remarking how fast 1997 to be passing by.

And remember: opening day at Fenway Park is April 11!


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