Wednesday, March 4, 2020

Frost Heaves

New Hampshire's 5th season is here! The period between late Winter to early Spring can be bumpy in New England and traditionally, while muddy, we take it on with a dry sense of humor.

The Norman Rockwell painting above is one of his four freedoms series. Freedom as they say, is not free, nor is it always a smooth ride. However it can be funny.

I understand there is a bit of politicking going on this time of year? 

This past Monday night was the Conway school deliberative meeting. According to today's Conway Daily Sun, "It was the shortest meeting on record since Conway switched to the SB 2 form of school meetings in 2001, adjourning after just 40 minutes, to easily top last year's 57-minute meeting. Another record set was the lowest attendance in the SB 2 era, with just 49 voters seated in Loynd Auditorium at Kennett High School (not including the 15 people in the reserved section for school personnel)."   

Tonight Conway holds its deliberative town meeting. Last night, the Conway Public Library hosted Rebecca Rule's program, "Moved and Seconded: Town Meeting in New Hampshire" with support from New Hampshire Humanities. If you missed the program check their schedule here and if you are interested in booking a program through them see the link here.

But don't expect the Norman Rockwell version of town meeting as seen in the painting above tonight. For more on this famous painting see this link.

We found out last night that Rebecca has a slightly different take on town meeting. Her program is based on her book.

In it Rule regales her audience with stories of the rituals, traditions, and history of town meeting, including the perennial characters, the literature, the humor, and the wisdom of this uniquely New England institution.

Tis the season ... This wry wit can be seen in the New England character. I remember years ago when I greeted someone with a typical comment on how nice a day it was one late winter thaw day like yesterday in the sixties, and the reply was "yeah guess we'll have to pay for it" and sure enough the next day I learned about frost heaves.

One yankee humorist, Fred Marple, has actually taken the term Frost Heaves for his bit, see his facebook here and his website here.

For even earlier humorists see our previous blog on mud season here.

Here is some of the scientific basis to frost heaves...

... but that is not as fun as complaining about the season and its cancelled dog sled races, posted roads, politicians and black flies 

However, there is a sweet side, a golden lining if you will, and it has already started, it is now sugar season. To get you in the mood for that, the Conway Public Library's Henney History Room offers a free outreach program to schools and community groups that explores the history and traditions of a typical sugaring off party. It compares how maple sugaring has been done over the years from Native American, Colonial settlers and how it has changed up through today's modern methods.

For more details on this or any other historical subject in the White Mountains, contact us at the Conway Public Library's Henney History Room.