The year starts and ends in winter. It's inaccurate to say our relationship is based on temperature, but lack of warmth is a huge aspect. Nothing changes our respect for vanity plates and porcelain mugs with racecar drivers in profile. Every day we walk up three steps and slip on the fourth, but take it as a good omen. When the snow starts in December, it's the staircase again, but in rain boots and carrying long black umbrellas. Hand gestures float across the dinner table like sign language in an attempt to convey mute sarcasm. The overall tone is lost in the crowded dessert line, and a sea of sweatshirts jockey for ice cream position.
The menu never changes. Nobody complains. Salt is the spice of life, and lawns are kept manicured, immaculate and almost false in their unchanging greenery.