Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Juno's Feast in Arlington MA - La Festa di Juno ad Arlington MA

Nobody celebrates Carnival here in the US, so when January hits us, I know there will be no holidays, no fun, it sucks until Easter. But, every year, the monotony of this boring time of the year is suddenly broken. New England covers itself in white and Arlington transforms into a fairytailish village. Nice but COLD.

This month I knew the snow was about to come.  

"Actually, there will be more than a few snowflakes", said John on Monday with an alarmed voice, knowing the way I feel about being stuck at home in winter. Then the sinister prediction: we'll get 35 to 40 inches (1 metre of snow, like my parents and I used to get on the mountains in Pragelato)! As in every other alarming situation of which people have no control, panic sets in, together with its usual rituals: text messages with the subject "powerful blizzard coming" from the town, travelling bans, overly dramatic videos from New York, super worried messages from family and friends. And by the way, why did they call the blizzard Juno, like the daughter of my friends in England? Will this Juno, the bad Juno, really strike here or will New York be hit first? 

Well, in the end, bad Juno chose Boston and decided to strike us (and surrounding New England), leaving some 4.5 million people, mostly professionals, in fear of losing power, and grappling with as much as three feet of snow and coastal flooding.  It is not the first time that I find myself going through this: the feeling of being stuck for indeterminate time at home while waiting for something good or bad to happen. No doubt the Boston bombers warnings were far more serious, yet I was caught by such similar, familiar anguish while I was looking outside the window, hoping to still be able to see the world and its inhabitants, safe, the day after

The following morning Tronk and I saw this. 

Then the New England snow blower parade started.

 Temperature outside: -10 Celsius!

Everyone outside, joining the snowblowing cause. Many of them in light North Face fleeces.

So I went outside in my street with Tronk. My intention was not to join the parade but to watch it, just like an Italian tourist would do. I was wrapped in my ridiculosly long North Face mummy coat, north pole hat, gloves and scarf. Tronk was so happy to finally be outside after two days buried in the house. My plan was to go for a short walk on the bike path, as we've done many times in the past after a snow storm. 

We discovered, with horror, that there was no longer a bike path!

Mass Avenue, the liveliest street of Arlington, was dead.

I was only able to stay outside for ten minutes, not more, before my hands started pulsating. At some point, my cheeks were burning. And I had to tell Tronk to follow me, as I ran home in search of relief. Tronk wasn't so happy to return home. He wanted to continue his exciting exploration of the neighborhood instead. "Come home!", I screamed as I ran. 

They must have thought I was crazy. Everyone was outside, either dedicated to the cause of removing snow or having fun with sport activities. 

Back in the house, I had an overdose of Italian hot chocolate and wrapped up in my electric blanket in the hope of feeling my body parts again. Meanwhile, Tronk had a blast plowing snow together with John and our neighbor. William, who doesn't owe snow pants, even went snowshoeing in the back yard with another neighbor.

Tronk said later that he did more work than Joe - who is from Buffalo, the snowiest big city in the US.

Many hours later, we went to bed. Still snowing.

This morning, the snowblower parade restarted. And everyone (expect me) joined the traditional New England winter ritual - finding one's car under the snow to drive to work.

So, now everyone is back at work or at least this is the intention in the mind of every Bostonian."Why should I not go to work? It is nice outside!" John, for instance, who was not able to start the car, went to catch a bus to go to work. And my little Bostonian went outside to play with Max and Ben in the nearby yard but the piled up snow prevented him from reaching the destination. Poor guy.

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