This may or may not be NSFW, I haven’t decided yet.
Day 18 of the #WingWritingChallenge touches on a subject I didn’t realize I felt passionately negative about until it was time to title the blog piece. Okay, that’s a lie. I know how I feel about this stuff. I didn’t think I’d have to share it with everyone else, though.
We talked about something similar to this yesterday. If it’s too early in the year to talk about the holidays, then it’s definitely too early to talk about snow. Yet here we are.
I grew up in Southwest Michigan. So the Kalamazoo, Battle Creek area. Of course it snows there. It better, the damn state is shaped like a mitten – as if to remind us that no matter how nice we think the summers are, we’re going to freeze our asses off come late November. Or whenever the skies decide to unleash frozen Hell. Sometimes it waits until December, which is nice but a bit of a tease.
It’s not like I thought I was getting out of snow in those years mind you, more that I was hoping for a mild winter. Those don’t happen that often.
My last full winter in Michigan saw blizzards and ice storms. One morning I woke up and the snow was up to my hips. My little car was buried. We had gotten 17 inches of snow in one night. Most of the state shut down. I shut down mentally remembering it.
I moved to Florida in January of 2013. I really, really wanted to get away from the cold and I had been having issues finding a job that I could do. A friend asked me to come down and be a snowbird. I said heck yes.
My circumstances changed and I ended up staying in Florida for what looks to be a permanent basis. My frozen inner child is celebrating with fireworks and pom poms.
There is much to dislike about snow. It’s not fun to walk around in, it’s cold (I don’t think I can cover this point nearly enough so I’ll say it again – the stuff is cold!), it never stops when it’s supposed to, it’s heavy and constantly in the way.
There are a few good things, I suppose. There’s sledding and hot chocolate with marshmallows.
I tell My Companion stories of growing up on a frozen lake. How the whole thing freezes over and people go stand on it with lines in the water, hoping that a fish will attack it. Then the fisherperson can hang out outside for another three hours while they clean 200 tiny blue gill. Honestly, those things are more work than they’re worth when it comes to eating.
We used to ice skate and ice fish on the south side, party hearty on the north. I say used to. I’m sure my friends and family that are still living up there are continuing the tradition but I prefer not to think of it. I may come down with bronchitis simply by typing this out.
The north end of the lake tended to have thicker ice. Every year, assuming it stays thick enough, they have a party on the lake. People drive their vehicles out there and by that I do mean their every day trucks and cars. Some people will bring snowmobiles or four wheelers.
There will be music and a huge bonfire. Yes, a bonfire on the ice. No, it is not common for people or heavy vehicles to fall through the ice though it has happened a few times. There’s a buddy who works as a fisherman on the boats in Alaska and he’ll bring some crab down specifically for this party. It’s kind of amazing.
But no, I bailed on this stuff and I’m happy for it.
I’ve taken My Companion up north in the winter so we could spend holidays with my family. One year it was when the Polar Vortex had gone through. He grew up in So Cal, he doesn’t have that much experience with this stuff.
The look on his face when the sheet of ice came off of the windshield was priceless. Had I been able to feel fingers, face, and phone, I would have caught it on camera. It was … not warm. Neither of us was dressed appropriately, especially since it was 80 in Tampa when we had flown out.
One of my last trips up when there was snow on the ground didn’t end the best way it could have. I’ve mentioned often the bad back/neck that I have. Michigan snow is behind it.
In January of 2014 I went up to housesit while my mother came to Florida. We may have passed each other in the air. The day before I was due to fly back I was driving from Saginaw to Grand Rapids using back roads and 131.
I hit black ice as I entered the highway and the SUV I was driving spun and flipped. There were either 3 1/2 or 4 1/2 sideways flips, the witnesses weren’t sure as it happened very quickly. I walked away from that accident, through knee deep snow.
I probably shouldn’t have been moving around as much as I was. It turns out I had multiple herniated discs in my back and neck, but I couldn’t feel them at the time. I’m still paying the price today.
I’ve been back up to visit in the snow once since it happened. I think it’s been once. I may have been blocking trips out mentally.
The moment I hear or read the word snow, I drop an F bomb. Every time. Someone was referring to President Snow from The Hunger Games and I went off on a 30 second rant before I realized that’s what they’d meant. It’s completely subconscious now, and from what I understand, hilarious.
I love being in Florida. Yes, we’re staring down Hurricane Matthew as I sit here writing this for you, but at this point I would much rather face a hurricane than a blizzard. At least I can feel my toes during Matthew.
Well, friends and readers, how do you feel about today’s keyword of snow? Share in comments!