Whoa, it’s snowing

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.

About Kevin Sonney

Kevin Sonney - who, contrary to popular opinion was NOT raised by wolves - grew up in central North Carolina. He fell into the technology field by accident in 1991, when he gave up the wild and crazy lifestyle of an on-air AM radio DJ to become a mundane technical support monkey. The technology industry has never really recovered from this. Kevin has worked for such names as IBM, Red Hat, webslingerZ, and Lulu Technologies (we won't mention the ones that didn't survive the experience). He currently works as a Linux Administrator for Apptio. In his spare time he rescues stray animals and plays video games with his two sons. His wife, we're sad to say, helps him get past the really hard bits. Kevin is still not very mundane, he just got better at hiding it.
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13 Responses to Whoa, it’s snowing

  1. drzarron says:

    We were up in Traverse City over Xmas. They had a couple of feet of snow for Xmas.. then Saturday morning the temp skyrocketed.. the fog was amazing.. drove through it all the way home.

  2. akiko says:

    Snow in the South is hiLARious. Except then you have to drive in it, with a bunch of idiots.

  3. apathychild says:

    Snow is gorgeous, no question. Unfortunately, it comes with this completely scientific law: It takes four to five years of shoveling it plus one minor snow-related car-damaging incident to get tired of it. It takes ten to twenty years of shoveling it plus one major snow-related car- or human-damaging incident to decide you never want to see it again. These numbers adjust downward in inverse proportion to average feet of snowfall per season and also skew slightly downward depending on how often the dog wants to go out.

    In other words, the dream and memory of snow is much better than actually living with it.

  4. dr_scholl says:

    I agree that the shoveling of snow sucks – though if you’re in a place that mostly gets lighter snow (i.e. not wet and heavy snow) snow-blowers are great things.

    As for the temperature, you learn how to dress accordingly. It has been pretty consistently in the 20s since I got here (I think the coldest I saw was around 18 the other night – I’m sure it gets colder in the middle of the night though)

    One thing I’ve learned living in Raleigh is it’s VERY hard to find a good pair of warm snow-boots. No market there.

    As for the driving thing, I hate doing it in snow in Raleigh. Not a problem doing it in NY or Europe, though ;)

  5. egbert826 says:

    It looks so beautiful! I wish I could be around that much snow.

  6. leslieerin says:

    Where in the UP are you guys? I have lots of family up there.

  7. murriel says:

    Being from the Midwest (Indiana), I find myself missing snow in the winter. Not that I want a blizzard or anything, but a few inches to look pretty and then go away. I also miss driving in snow with people who know how to drive in snow.

    Usually, there is some kind of snow event when I go home at Christmas but not this year. We got ice this year, not nearly as much fun as snow I have to say.

    Need I add that the white, pure, sparkling snow usually only lasts for one day and then it becomes nasty, dirty, gross snow.

  8. brownkitty says:

    All Ursula would have to do to make it un-cliche would be to paint some platypus children making a snow echidna or having a snowball fight.

  9. franadora says:

    I just spent two weeks in Wisconsin, as I do every Christmas. Yes the snow is beautiful. I also live in Raleigh but used to live up there. And I would return in a moment.

    Yes, it can get bitter cold. But it is warmer if it snows, as it usually doesn’t snow if it is too cold (not counting the wind effect). Strangely, it is also drier to snow at 28F than to rain at 38F.

    Please give the drivers down here the benefit of doubt. Up north, the drivers always drive stupidly during the first snow of the year. Usually it’s early and light and they soon remember “ah, snow”. Here in Raleigh, it is (almost) always the “First Snow of the Year”.

    And I always prefer to drive in snow over ice. Just not blowing snow.

  10. anonymous says:

    We’re in Dickinson County, southern part of UP, near Wisconsin.

  11. alchemist says:

    We were up in Houghton/Hancock/Calumet. I think we need to go back in the summer so we can see more than just…snow and ice and groovy art shops.

  12. leslieerin says:

    Yes, I have family near that area, the town where my grandparents lived when they died was called Lake Linden and Houghton/Hancock is not far from there. My aunt was teaching at Michigan Tech and several of my cousins go there or went there. I also have family in Newberry and Travers (sp?) City.

  13. takmarierah says:

    Did your eyelashes freeze? You haven’t lived until your eyelashes freeze!

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