Lessons from Howard and the Gilmore Girls

I’ve always hated winter.

And as a result I’ve hated fall, too, because things start dying and it’s getting colder and it’s just a constant and looming reminder that winter is coming.

But last year I came to the realization that if I keep going this way I’m going to be hating half of my life.

And that’s no way to live.

Plus, in the past couple weeks, two things have happened.

I’ve always had a dream to have a beach house on a tropical island or at least down south. And one day, when all the kid are older and done with school, I’d move to that beach house full time and live out the rest of my days in flip flops and never ever be cold again.

And I’ve also become obsessed with @earthyandy on Instagram. She’s this young mom with two cute kids and a hot husband who lives in  Hawaii and she posts incredible pictures about her perfect vegan life and her perfect family in a perfect paradise.

Don’t get me wrong. I know her life is nowhere as perfect as she makes it appear on Instagram.

But if you’re gonna have an imperfect life, you might as well have it in Hawaii, right? I mean, at least the weather is always beautiful there.

So anyway, a couple weeks ago I was sitting at my dining room table with Howard, the traveling notary who the mortgage company sent to our house so my husband and I could sign the papers that would officially mean our house was no longer in foreclosure, and we were waiting for my husband who was running late because he had to come home from work in the middle of the day.

And so I was just shooting the shit with Howard, and I learned that he lived in northeastern Connecticut and he had to travel about 90 minutes to get to our house. And then he told me that he was stationed in Hawaii when he was first married and in the military. And I was like, Oh my God, aren’t you so miserable that you had to come back to Connecticut?

And he said no!

And I was like, What the hell is wrong with you?

And he went on to explain how Hawaii is nice. But not forever. Especially not if you grew up in an area where there are seasons.

I’ve been thinking about that a lot in the last couple weeks.

Because while I hate being cold, there is something about being able to put on jeans and a sweater and a scarf, and to walk outside into air that is cool and refreshing.

Or to go for a run in a long-sleeved shirt and feel comfortable.

And it’s apple season now. More specifically, it’s honeycrisp apple season.

If you have never had these, spend the extra money and get them.

They are so good. Although they will forever make all other apples pale in comparison after you’ve had the first bite. (Number 6 recently referred to honeycrisp apples as the apples that taste like candy).

Could I really appreciate honeycrisp apples if I lived in Hawaii?

I don’t think I could.

Hawaii never has an apple season!

Are there apple orchards there? Or pumpkin patches?

And how can you have pumpkins on your front door step while you’re looking at a fucking coconut tree?

You can’t!

I mean, you can. But it’s not the same.

There’s no autumn in Hawaii. Or Puerto Rico. Or the Bahamas. Or any of the other tropical places I’ve fantasized about moving to.

And even though its beauty is fleeting, there’s nothing like autumn in New England.

It may not be lush and tropical and full of waterfalls, but it sure is beautiful.

So I said before that two things happened recently.

The first, like I said, was talking to  Howard a couple weeks ago.

The second thing is that my current Netflix binge watch is The Gilmore Girls.

How this show escaped me, I have no idea.

And I’m only about six episodes into the first season, but as the whole world already knows because I’m like the only person in the universe who hasn’t watched this show, it’s set in a small town in Connecticut.

While I know the show was not actually filmed in CT, the scenery and the small-town feel portrayed in the show are pretty accurate.

Yesterday it was cool here in CT, and I got Number 5 off the bus and I had a fire going all day inside and Number took a deep breath as we were walking inside from the bus and she said to me, “Mommy! It smells good! It smells like a fire!”

And I thought to myself, what a nice memory for a seven-year-old to have.

And then last night after everyone was in bed, I was sitting on the couch in my pajamas and my robe in front of a warm fire in my small-town Connecticut home and I was watching the Gilmore Girls and it was fall in the show and people were talking about getting ready for Thanksgiving. And what it looked like on the show, it felt like in my house.

And I liked that.

And then in the next episode Lorelai opened up the window at night and took in a real deep breath and Rory walked into the room and said, “Mom! It’s freezing!” and  Lorelai said, “I know, but don’t you smell that? It smells like snow! There’s a storm coming!”

And I knew exactly what she was talking about.

There is nothing like that smell. You can definitely smell when it’s going to snow. And you can’t help but be excited about it.

If I lived in Hawaii all the time, I’d never know what that smell was. And neither would the kids.

Number 5 would never walk up the front walkway and have that memory of the smell of a fire in the fireplace.

Pumpkin spice everything and apple cider wouldn’t be the same. They would kind of suck in Hawaii, actually.

So would Christmas Cookie and Autumn Wreath and Balsam and Cedar and Cinnamon Stick Yankee candles.

I’ve always said that I live in the wrong part of the country. That I want to live where it’s warm.

I still have dreams of a beach house on a tropical island. And one day I’ll have one.

But that will be when I’m rich and famous and have the opportunity to vacation there.

Because while I’ll always love summer the best, Howard and the Gilmore Girls led me to an aha moment yesterday.

Yesterday it finally dawned on me that I’m a Connecticut girl at heart. I always will be.  I don’t hate fall and winter as much as I thought I did.

And I’m pretty lucky.

Sure, Hawaii has it’s benefits.

But so does Connecticut.

And this is a pretty great corner of the world to live in.


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1 reply
  1. Karen
    Karen says:

    How you’ve missed Gilmore Girls is puzzling…it is one of the best shows…right up there with Friday Night Lights…hope you can get through all the seasons before the revival on Nov. 25th… and yes watching Lorelai smell winter and love snow helps one see the beauty of the winter season…for about a day 🙂


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