Not “the snowblower society of Buffalo, NY,” which is the lead PR phrase for a book I was just sent for possible review. As I’ve mentioned before, I am the editor of Western New York’s city/regional magazine, and like most editors, I am sent all kinds of queries and pitches from people who want to be featured in our glossy pages.
I hear rather frequently from authors, who often assume (quite incorrectly) that they are among the very few people who live in/are from Buffalo and have published a book. Fine. I understand the enthusiasm of having finished a book and wanting to share it with the world. What I don’t understand is someone whose memories of Buffalo seem to be nearly exclusively centered around cold weather. There are a lot of these people. Where do they get this? What Buffalo did they grow up in?
I think my confusion must be because I’m a gardener and spend a lot of the spring, summer, and fall outside. I find this area a great climate for gardening, near large bodies of water, with comfortable temperatures from May through half of November. We do have intermittent snow (as many regions do, and some of them have way more), usually starting in late December and lasting into March. And it’s true that around mid-February I may find myself wishing I was in California, Florida, or Texas, if only for a week or two. But those regions have their weather issues too.
The author whose blurb is quoted above (I will not mention the name or book, as I’ve only skimmed it and don’t see anything that impresses me) now lives in Manhattan, where I guess they never have snow.
Although this sounds like a rant, it’s really not. It’s really a paean to the glories of gardening, which is at the same time so intrinsically connected to weather and so able to transcend it. By pulling us closer to the everyday caprices of weather, gardening helps us embrace it, good and bad.
I know that sounds sappy, but I have found it to be true.