Well, this is it. This is winter: gusting wind, swirling snow, plows rumbling by, high drifts, 18 degrees. No more leftover flowers hiding under dead leaves. No more pretending that fall will ease right into spring. This is the reality that is New England. This calls for full battle gear: weatherproof boots with slip-proof bottoms; heavy-duty windbreakers, storm coats, parkas; warm snug hats, a few long scarves and mittens over gloves. Think thinsulate, down, polartec, lambswool. Of course, all that is only for running from front door to car door to store door. If you’re really going to be out in it, you have to start further in with insulated long-johns and various layers of tops and bottoms, building your warmth from the inside out. Do New Englanders truly love this challenging weather that is so much a part of our culture? Maybe some do, but most of us simply endure until spring.