A Brief Introduction…
The title of this one is a bit misleading. I’m not actually in favor of global warming, especially given the number of horrific global catastrophes the world has experienced in recent times. As a matter of fact, it pains me think that it may be a real possibility. What a thought to consider.
Enough of that talk tough. I don’t want to start some big debate over it. Next thing I’ll be getting solicited by Al Gore, asking me for donations to help support the “adopt a penguin program”. I don’t have the money, nor freezer space to take on any extra house guests – regardless of how well dressed they may be.
So, let’s get down to the nitty-gritty — the heart of the matter at hand. Given the time of year, I felt now would be the best opportunity to share with you my melancholy disposition toward the beginning of the dreaded cold season in Michigan.
The Enchantment of Michigan Seasons…
As I write, our brief and beautiful summer is exhaling its last warm breath. The transient warm-season will soon give way to the first brisk winds of autumn in October, bringing with it a fresh palette of deciduous colors. The orchards will once again be filled with apple and pumpkin-pickers, hay-riders, and freshly baked donuts. Ask anyone that has left and they’ll fondly recall it as being a Michigan memory that they will forever cherish.
This fall season will be particularly pleasant too, considering that we’ve had our share of extended, oppressively-hot spells all summer long. It was hotter than I can ever remember. Every day was a record-breaker it seemed. It was the kind of hot that makes sitting in the shade intolerable. Some days it was hot enough that if you left a glass of water outside for a half hour, it would begin to boil. (ok, embellishing a bit).
Unfortunately, despite the stunning beauty and fun-filled activities that autumn brings with it, the season fades as quickly as it arrives. Soon, the painted trees will drop their last strands of color, leaving nothing behind but a still-life portrait of baron limbs.
The sadness is temporary though, with the fast-approaching holiday season re-energizing the low-spirited. Turkey-carving, gift-giving, and the opportunity to start fresh a new year – all of these things shared with family, friends, and even those less fortunate. Grudges are forgotten, memories are told, and festive holiday lights illuminate the long, dark nights.
But, after all of the candy is collected, turkeys carved, presents opened, and half-hearted weight-loss resolutions are made, my cheery outlook begins to waver and the cold, hard reality begins to seep into my brain… Commence the freezing, grey, sloppy, flu-ridden season of winter.
My Thoughts on Michigan Winters…
I’ll preface by stating that I hate winter. Dressing like an Inuit every morning before scraping twelve inches of cold, wet powder off the car isn’t my idea of living. With the exception of a pet lizard, nothing should have to exist in an artificially-heated box for any length of time. Some people love the winter. I’m convinced that those people are in denial.
As the first frigid wind trickles down my spinal column, I begin muttering obscenities to myself (more often than usual), asking questions like “why do I put up with this misery?” I must be crazy, because I’ve finally begun answering back.
Months spanning January and April are what I refer to as the “grey season”. It’s a time when the sun goes on vacation somewhere down in the southern hemisphere, leaving us all behind to wither and rot away. In order to supplement the lack of Vitamin D lost from the sun’s absence, one must drink anywhere from two to four gallons of milk a week in order to stay healthy and balanced.
In order to survive, it’s important to keep occupied to prevent from going stir-crazy. Popular activities include things like skiing, ice-skating, sledding, building snowmen, etc. But while the cold-lovers are out frolicking, I’ll be inside, wrapped in a heated blanket. One of the constructive things I have planned for this winter is to visit a doctor to have my dense skull examined. I’m convinced there is something wrong with me. You’d think that anyone with a healthy functioning brain would opt out of this misery, but apparently I enjoy it enough to stay here indefinitely. I’ll keep you posted on the results.
Coping with it is difficult for many, while easier for others. Some of us drink, others double our dosages of anti-depressants, and some of us travel upstate to snowmobile…
The Autobahn and The Precipitous North…
My Grandparents live upstate; the 45th parallel to be exact, which is exactly halfway between the equator and the fat guy in the red suit. “Upstate” is actually an unused term here to describe the top of the mitten. We Michigan folk refer to it as “Up North”, or “Going Up North”. There, summers usually last anywhere from mid-July to early September. I could never survive it. I often ask why they didn’t buy property in Cabo San Lucas, or the Bahamas, or something like that.
Being up there is even worse this time of year. It’s at a much higher elevation, which usually means triple the amount of precipitation. Its high enough in fact that it begins to takes on a hazy effect upon arrival. Look out any window at their place and you’ll actually be at eye level with the clouds.
Being up there is one thing, but getting up there is another altogether. I try and do my visiting during the summer months, because driving up Interstate 75 in the midst of a snowstorm makes for extreme white-knuckle driving. Everyone is constantly fighting for pole position along the way. If I had to come up with an analogy for driving it, it would be like juggling butcher’s knives; one slip and you’re likely to lose something valuable.
In case you’re not familiar with the Michigan portion of I-75, it’s kind of like the Autobahn, only people drive faster and with heavier vehicles. It’s no place for a smart car. As a matter of fact, if you plan to make the trek yourself, I would recommend renting an armored vehicle, or a salt truck to insure that you make it up alive.
It’s not so much the road conditions that make it treacherous, as it is the down-state jerk-offs pulling trailers full of snow toys. Try it sometime if you’re dealing with constipation. Fifteen minutes on the road will loosen everything right up.
A Solemn Conclusion…
Conclusively, I’ve decided that I wouldn’t be opposed to never seeing winter again, with the exception of on December 25th. Other than that, I only want to see it on TV — preferably a large-screen that is sitting in front of the pool I’m rafting in, while I sip some kind of fruity drink. I want to have nightmares about it only to wake up and realize that it was just a bad dream. Upon waking up I’d roll myself over, fall back asleep, and revisit me floating on that imaginary raft, with that fruity drink straw pinched between my lips.
To all the mid-westerners out there that share my sentiments I say the following: brace yourselves, because it’s coming whether you snowmobile or not. So dig out the ol’ parka and galoshes, put away the patio furniture, and get ready for Frosty to stick his big, fat, snow-covered boot up your ass once again…
Cheers to a rant-filled winter. I’m sure I’ll be doing a lot of it.
-Happy Blogging Season Bitchers
- The American Heat Wave and Global Warming (scientopia.org)
- So, Do You Believe in Global Warming Now? (neatorama.com)
- Guardian Says Global Warming Induced Cold Is The New Normal (stevengoddard.wordpress.com)