Why I Love Winter 1/31/16

The folks I work with at the hospital in Flagler Beach are mostly all transplanted Northerners who moved to Florida (when they retired) to escape the winters of their youth and adult lives. To them, nothing seems as wonderful as playing golf every day, wearing Bermuda shorts and short-sleeved tee shirts on a regular basis, and having more pairs of flip-flops than pairs of socks.

I can understand that in a crazy sort of way – because I’m just the opposite.  Growing up in the south – with the almost constant heat and humidity – was the perfect preparation for me to embrace the cold and snow of the north with an open mind and a gleeful heart.

So – when I plop down at break on my volunteer day and say, “Wow! it was 42 this morning!  Don’t y’all just love it,”  you can imagine the response – long stories of daily snow shoveling, no electricity during ice storms, snarled traffic, and sold-out grocery stores (and, of course, trudging to school everyday in the snow – barefooted).

My reply to that is always the same.  I. Don’t. Know. That. Part.  All I know about REAL winter is the little bits of it I’ve experienced on Mackinac Island.

There are very few vehicles, so there’s no reason to plow anything but necessary roads for the horses, police cars and fire trucks.  Yes, winter residents occasionally lose power.  But most of the folks who winter there have been dealing with the inconveniences for generations.  It’s the way that choose to live, and I’m pretty sure the majority of them wouldn’t change their lifestyles for anything else on earth.  Snarled traffic?  Only if you call it snarled traffic if a couple of snowmobiles –  ridden by teenagers – turn into the school yard at the same time for a day of classes.  Sold out grocery stores?  Doud’s Market – to my knowledge (I know I will hear from islanders if I’m wrong on this) – has never been sold out in its 100+ year history.

So, I defend my right to love winter.  And snow.  And the cold.  That’s easy to do when all I’ve known of a real winter includes . . .

A full moon over Little Stone Church.

A full moon over a snow-capped Little Stone Church.

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Bald Eagles perched in tree limbs so close you barely need a zoom lens to capture their majesty.

The sun rising over the Mission Point Buoy, as Lake Huron steams.

The sun rising over the Mission Point Buoy, as Lake Huron steams.

A buck allowed to live on an island full of hunters and families who love venison.

A buck allowed to live on an island full of hunters and families who love venison.

Sun

The sun reflecting off Fort Hill and the Mackinac Bridge, as the town lies in shadow.

A town so in love with its children that - on a regular basis in wintertime - the varsity basketball teams iare flown off island and back on for ballgames with competing towns - like Beaver Island.

A town so in love with its children and their need to participate in sports that – on a regular basis in wintertime – the varsity basketball teams are flown off island for ballgames with competing towns – like Beaver Island.

A strip of highway (M-185) that curls all the way around the island

A strip of highway (M-185) that curls all the way around the island and never loses its “scenic” designation – summer OR winter.

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A church steeple which reflects the sun’s rays – even when everything else is grey and gloomy.

A bridge that - last night - was the foreground for a magnificent Aurora Borealis display.

A bridge that – last night – was the foreground for a magnificent Aurora Borealis display.

Vantage points where, looking over wooden fences, you can see forever

Vantage points where, looking over wooden fences, you can see forever – or as forever as you’d want to on this particular day.

tomchambers

An ice-and-snow-encased, real life Currier and Ives painting.

A Mackinac Island winter . . . . we should all be so lucky!

(Many thanks to photo sharers in this order:  Greg Main, Clark Bloswick (4), Grace Yakuber, Robert McGreevy, Michigan Fototkr, Clark Bloswick, and Tom Chambers!

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15 thoughts on “Why I Love Winter 1/31/16

  1. I have experienced all the horrible things about winter in Michigan and lived to tell about it. However, now that I’m retired, I love winter even more. In fact we got a new snowblower this year, one that I can handle, and I have only used it once. I hope I get to play with it in the snow again this winter! I do understand though that people still have to travel in the snow everyday, so I won’t wish for too much snow. I want everyone to be safe.
    ps….how do I find you on Facebook?

  2. I know you have probably told us many many times. Somehow I have missed all of them. Growing up in Michigan, I remember the year the Bridge was built & my first trip to Macinac Island. Living in Georgia, how did you find the Island? Your first trip must have been magical for you.

    • It was magical, Laura. My husband’s grandparents had a summer cottage in the Les Cheneaux Islands and he spent all his summers there as a little boy. He took me to Michigan one year to show me where he grew up and we stayed in the island. The rest is history!

      >

  3. Pam took the words right out of my mouth. Many of my friends have gone south for the winter and i understand it but my husband and i love to be here (michigan) now more than ever , since we retired…..we dont have to go out everyday to work …we can really enjoy the beauty of winter …when we feel like getting away we just drive to one of the lakes in all seasons , i never ever get tired of being near the water….I love 4 seasons and no better place to have them is right here….Brenda thank you for the outstanding pics of the island!

  4. I love winter! I do enjoy a trip south but love Wisconsin and it’s 4 seasons. Even now with am impending blizzard, I am excited. Even though people have to get out and shovel, blow snow and clear roads, this year since I have retired, I can stay inside and watch the snow fall and transform this part of the country into a winter wonderland. It could only be more besutiful if I were to be spending a weekend on Mackinac Island in wintertime! Your pictures are beautiful!

  5. I’m with you Bree. Having spent the last 52 years in the south after growing up in the north, I miss the snow. Spent last week in Minnesota with the grandchildren and loved waking up to the beauty of snow on the ground and watching it gently fall while taking the kids to the bus stop. The silence of snow falling reminds me of God covering me with his loving arms. Tony and I hope to move up there someday and I can’t wait. There are definitely four seasons in Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota and other states in the mid west. I’ll take that compared to 8 months of mosquitoes and sweltering heat and humidity. Loved the picture of the Aurora Borealis over the bridge. .

  6. Brenda,

    We’ve experienced the North (Michigan) and the South (Austin, Texas) and we would both prefer to be in the South in winter. When we moved back to Michigan, I told my self I was going to like winter. That lasted two winters. However, we have not complained this winter. It hasn’t been Florida, but neither has it been real cold and not much snow. As a matter of fact, we haven’t had to have the driveway plowed even one time. The 12 inch snow we had the Saturday before Thanksgiving was completely gone within about 4 1/2 days. Nevertheless, every one of the pictures you posted in this blog are just plain beautiful.

  7. Love that photo of the Northern Lights.
    I love the winter when I get a chance to be on my skis, not so much when it takes me an extra two hours to get home from work!

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