From the Ezy Reading Archives:
The Days Grow Shorter In Maine
Evan Kanarakis


So the onslaught of a New England winter at full force can’t be far away now...

For the past two months we’ve been witness to a gradual changing of foliage from summer’s greens to autumn’s truly spectacular reds, oranges and yellows, to the current stark landscape of trees stripped bare. Temperatures have been dipping well below zero almost every night, and with daylight savings in effect the sun is quite jarringly setting as early as three-thirty in the afternoon.

It has become time to rug up, add layers, and the old furnace in my basement has creaked and whirred to life for yet another season.

On weekends, when a walk around town just a few weeks ago might have been witness to families picnicking and playing in the park, boats out on the river for an afternoon, or summer cookouts, now such scenes have been replaced by pumpkins and corn husks on front porches pointing us to Halloween and Thanksgiving, and the ‘swoosh, swoosh’ of folks raking seemingly endless piles of fallen leaves in their yards. Over by the Sea Dog, the marina looks like a graveyard for yachts wrapped tightly in white rubber shrouds.

Baseball diamonds that were tended to with care until September have been allowed to grow over and scar muddy with the cleats of high school footballers. Burly hunters in alternating camouflaged and bright orange jackets flock to bars and talk of moose and deer and the ones that got away. Others have turned their attention to banter of ice hockey and handle Russian, French and Czech names with the experience of seasoned fans.

No snow yet, though the signs are there. The clouds are growing darker... lower in the sky. My car has been ‘winterized’. I’ve bought a new ice scraper, and locals are eager to warn me (regularly and at length) that I’m in for a real surprise up ahead: my first winter in Maine.

Perhaps they’re right, but I think I’m ready. Bring on that ferocious blanket of white and cold. This is bound to be an experience.


This article was first published in November of 2005. Ezy Reading is out every month...