I am currently in Upper Peninsula Michigan, visiting Ursula’s Mom and Step-dad. I’ll be talking more about the anxiety and whatnot of “meeting the parents” in my next IntrepidMedia article. So you’ll have to wait for that.
Today, I’m going to talk about snow.
In the south, snow is an EVENT. It’s not something that happens with any regularity, it’s more something that is inflicted on us – we enjoy it as it falls, we rush to the store for bread, eggs, milk, and beer at the merest mention that snow will fall (and there is a collective embarrassment and bitching about this), and we’re disappointed when the snow doesn’t fall. Kids dream of snow days – and so do grown ups, even if we don’t get them.
Up here, snow is a way of life. It’s snowed every day we’ve been up here, including a blustery and windy band of snow that we, in our foolishness, attempted to walk two blocks in on Monday.
And it’s BEAUTIFUL. Heartrendingly, majestically beautiful. It is the kind of snow you see on TV or in post cards. As we were driving up to Copper Harbor yesterday, Ursula commented that “I’d love to paint this, but it’s so CLICHE” and it is and yet it’s the kind of winter wonderland you think of when the Christmas Carols are on.
Until you open the car door or step outside.
Ah yes, I forgot that with the snow comes the cold. The bitter, bitter bite of cold that seeps into your toes and under your hat as the wind finds every leak in your clothing, and the ice collects in the soles of your shoes. My mustache actually started to freeze up while we were out looking at Lake Superior yesterday. This is a sensation I will not forget.
But I think I could, if I wanted to, live up here. I’m not sure. It certainly feels like home.
Sadly, we return to NC today. I will miss looking out of an upstairs window into a white landscape with snowflakes dancing and whirling in the wind. I will miss the warmth of good food, good family, and good times. I will not miss the biting wind and angry chill.
We’re leaving before I start to get homesick. And before I start to hate the white, pure, sparkling snow.