New England's Silent Fireworks

Traveling along a New Hampshire road lined with crimson and gold, I came upon a sign that perfectly captured New England's hard-nosed work ethic. It read: "Why wait for an emergency to prepare?"

That notion seems silly to people in the world's warmer climes. In Africa, for instance, locals laugh at tourists who tote umbrellas in the dry season. It doesn't rain for months, so why prepare?

Not so here. Preparation is the way of life, and the glowing leaves are nature's gracious warning of the cold to come. Yankees even prepare for tomorrow, going to bed early so they can be up before dawn. Boston is notoriously lifeless after dark, but its highways are bulging by 6 a.m.

If you're not on Yankee time, it can be rough. In rural New Hampshire, daylight was just fading when I realized I'd lost my car key. The locksmith was already in bed, so I had to wait (in a tent by the side of the road) until 6 a.m.

Yankees also never throw anything away. One usually frugal friend, in a fit of extravagance, disposed of a liquid-soap bottle with two ounces left. But that night his Yankee nature prevailed: He retrieved it and vowed to use every drop.

Each fall, tourists come to see tree-borne fireworks, hoping their photos turn out as well as these from New Hampshire and Vermont. But to locals, the colors are a reminder of the motto the Boy Scouts must have borrowed: Be prepared.

About these ads
Sponsored Content by LockerDome

We want to hear, did we miss an angle we should have covered? Should we come back to this topic? Or just give us a rating for this story. We want to hear from you.

Loading...

Loading...

Loading...

Save for later

Save
Cancel

Saved ( of items)

This item has been saved to read later from any device.
Access saved items through your user name at the top of the page.

View Saved Items

OK

Failed to save

You reached the limit of 20 saved items.
Please visit following link to manage you saved items.

View Saved Items

OK

Failed to save

You have already saved this item.

View Saved Items

OK