Monday, October 14, 2013

Northern Exposure

NB: This is a re-post from the first day of autumn a couple of years ago. The air had that certain chill tonight as I returned home from a lovely night out with a great friend, and I felt compelled to pull of the Northern Exposure DVDs so I can watch one while sip my coffee and clean the kitchen tomorrow. The lure of Northern Exposure happens every year just about this time.

I think it's the descent into winter. Every year at this time, I watch re-runs of the television series Northern Exposure. I am partial to the episodes that center on Adam and Eve - seasons 2, 3, 4  - because I am a sucker for a chef, shoeless, with religious adherence to a glace de viande. Oh, la la. Blue knitted hat and all.

This is the last day of fall. Not by the calendar, but we are predicted to have 1-3 inches of snow tomorrow, and a venison stew is on my stove. When the light is waning, when the cold is descending, I tune in to re-runs of Northern Exposure in order to brace my self for the winter ahead. I started this tradition back in 2003, when we first realized we would be moving North. From Cambridge, which is, admittedly, already quite North.

Currently, I am cooking and listening to Season Three, episode 18. Shelley sheds her skin, Joel gets some education from the local healer, and Maggie is romanced by the Bear Man. Not the one who gets mauled in the documentary Bear Man - a cuter one, more like Eric Northman, less like Grizzly Adams.

My students are feeling the effects of darker mornings and shorter evenings. They have less light in which to do their homework, the sports are moving indoors, and it's becoming dark, depressing, sad. I feel it, as their teacher. I feel the need to spark into their classroom experience, to inspire them with the light of knowledge in contrast to the darkening of their days.

Oh, the pressure.

But it's good for me to amp up the animation in response to their ennui...but with six months of it ahead of me, I fear for my endurance.

And, just to say, this is not at all what I planned to write about this evening....I had a whole THING...and then it got dark, and the words changed places. Such is the writing life.


  1. I used to love Northern Exposure. Thanks for the reminder.

  2. Okay, the word verification was antedlyr - I am not kidding - pretty damn close to antler.


  3. I love this time of year. The chill gives me energy after the long brutal summer, and before the holidays there's so much to look forward to. It's a hopeful time of year.

  4. I own all the seasons on DVD. If I could only watch two shows, it would be Northern Exposure and West Wing. Can you tell I am a writer? Aaron Sorkin....sigh.

  5. Update: it's snowing, and that snow is sticking. But it's warm inside near the wood stove, and I'm warming up the leftover venison stew. I have a glass of Pinot Noir, and Holling is about to find out from Ed that Jesse the bear is dead.

  6. You might fear for your endurance, but I'm 150% sure you've got it covered. If I could accomplish 1/2 of what you do in one day, I'd be proud of myself!

    And me, I'm the oddball that likes the cold, the dark, the shorter days. I feel so much more productive. It must be inborn, because I've always been this way. When I start dinner at 4:30 because it's getting dark outside, and I can ease my way into the evening by chopping the veggies and heating up the grill (with a glass of wine in hand), I love it. There's some "ahhhhhhh" feeling that comes over me.

  7. And I agree with you, by the way, about Aaron Sorkin. I have all the seasons of The West Wing on DVD. So flippin' smart.

  8. I enjoyed this reading this post - fall seems to be good Northern Exposure watching time. There is something very cuddly about the show, like seeing an old friend after years and years. But NX as background sound is a great idea, good vibes all around.