That First Blast of Fresh Air

March 13, 2024
By: Paul Morrone

The one-off, unseasonably warm and sunny day is always a welcome gift during the doldrums of a New England winter. This year, especially, it feels like we haven’t seen the sun for more than a handful of days, and, despite the mild temperatures, winter has seemed longer and gloomier than ever. Until now. We were gifted a beautiful Sunday a few weeks ago and it felt like people came out in droves to enjoy it. But the party ended quickly. Things got even better yesterday when it hit 60 across the state and I got to enjoy one of my favorite moments of the year – the first drive home with the windows down. 

I knew it was coming as soon as I walked out of the office and was excited before I even got in the car. The windows were down by the time I hit St. John Street and stayed that way until I pulled into the garage at home. A pleasant, traffic-free, ride home made it all the better as I cruised down 91 and up 95, making sure to savor every moment. For a rare moment in time, I intentionally slowed down to drink it all in. To make it better, the sun was still out – and it was later than 5pm! 

The magic really begins when you get on the highway and the fresh air runs through the car like a freight train. As it swirls around in the cabin, you can almost feel it cleanse the inside of the car and stir up dust that has settled in all the cracks over the past several months (that’s not to say I have a dirty car, however! Even with two kids, you’d be hard pressed to find much dirt at all in my car…). It’s loud, but it’s supposed to be. I found myself smiling, without a care in the world. 

And I know it’s not just me. While many will still remain confined behind the safety of their glass windows, there’s always the group of rebels blaring their radio and driving home from work like it’s a Sunday afternoon on the Pacific Coast Highway. It’s refreshing to hear other peoples’ music and see hands hanging out of the windows once again. There’s definitely a positive vibe on the roads in the early days of spring, and I love every minute of it. I have absolutely no statistical data to back it up, only anecdotal observations, but on days like yesterday, I’d be willing to wager that people driving with the windows down are measurably happier than those that aren’t. That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it. 

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