As a general rule of someone who prefers the spring and summer, I don’t generally get sentimental on the winter. However, there are certain things that I miss about the winter back in New England that simply can’t be found here. Buenos Aires gets a winter, that’s for sure, but not nearly as painfully as Boston, and the only reason I think of it as cold is because I’ve been out of Massachusetts for two years and forgotten what real cold is.
Little things like the first snowfall, hot chocolate, and snowball fights are just some of the reasons I occasionally miss winter. I would throw snow days in there as well, but then I might as well say I miss being a kid, because unless it’s a blizzard outside, a couple inches of snow isn’t sufficient reason to stay at home in your sweatpants all day, only going out to shovel the driveway once or twice.
This Saturday, however, before my friends arrived, I woke up early and lay in my bed with the faint crack of grey light coming in from the inner empty space of the building. Tucked under the heavy covers I felt warm, but once I took my uncovered arms over the blanket I felt a chill. It gets so hot in my room that I have to sleep with the window open, constantly vacillating between too hot under the layers and cold with nothing above me.
With my eyes closed, my surroundings were able to fool me for just a few minutes, and I could have imaged that I was tucked warmly into my bed at my parents’ house on the morning of some big storm. Surely it wouldn’t be grey, but white light coming in, bouncing off of the snow as the wind howled against the side of the English Tudor. I remember those days so well. If it was a weekday you were probably screwed and forced to go outside, but if it was a weekend you could just stay in, roll over on your side, and enjoy the smug pleasure of heating and a roof. Of course, the heating didn’t always work so well.
It’s not a moment that you’d generally feel sentimental for, but after a couple years of separation from it, I’m not surprised to feel the desire. It’s more than a comfortable memory, but a piece of something familiar and easy to understand. I’m a New Englander, and the winter defines us, but this winter here in Buenos Aires leaves something to be desired. It’s cold and sucky, but not bad enough to bring around the real 180* that spring does in Boston. Whenever it is that spring comes, anyway.
Back in January, while traveling through Patagonia with my parents, I had a similar feeling in Monte Leon while staying at a cozy bed and breakfast. I awoke before the alarm and heard the wind howl against the house and literally forgot where I was in the pre-wake up confusion, thinking I was in New England. It made me think of the 100 year old homes in the center of my hometown for some reason. In any case, whenever I do go home, it will be to Washington D.C. and not to Boston, so it will be a different winter yet again. But I’m sure one day I’ll be back in Boston for a nasty blizzard, and if you’re around you’ll likely hear me complain, “Man this makes me miss that winter in Buenos Aires. Now there was a winter you could set your watch to.”