Tag Archives: snow

Snow days and getting gas.

Photo by Zack Melhus on Pexels.com

I like to tease my husband he is getting old, especially when it comes to things like the weather. I care very little about the weather, I cant control it, and I still have to carry on with my day doing whatever I had planed anyway, so aside from thinking about when I need gas, the weather bothers me very little. For the most part my husband is the same way, however recently, it seems, he has taken a large interest in knowing what the weather will do AND telling you if your wrong about it. Honestly, it’s annoying AF!

Recently a storm was in the forecast, and news reporters started to talk about some snow we were going to get. First of all, they are hardly every right, but also it’s Michigan in February, what did they think was going to happen? People talked about it at work. “Ugh, more snow.” People in the grocery store talked about it “I need more wine!” and home improvement stores talked about it. “come get a generator, snow blowers are on sale.” People counted the days, hours, and minutes until it would start snowing. The night before the snow was going to hit the husband was ready, he had gas for the snow blower and ran to the store to get some supplies…i.e. beer. He warned me that there was going to be a lot of snow in the morning when I wake up. Even told me I could take his truck if I was concerned.

This was one time the weatherman was actually close to correct. The snow started in the afternoon on that Monday. Big beautiful fluffy flakes that danced in the air before falling onto the ground and creating snow covered everything. Occasionally the sun would peek out tricking us to thinking that winter was inviting us all outside to enjoy her creations of the sparkly white fluffy stuff. If you took a step outside however you noticed a not so inviting gift from mother nature, the cold. It wasn’t just cold out, if was fucking cold, that the worst kind of cold you know. The temperatures in single digits and the feels like temperature was below zero. The weather forecasters again talked about it…. Please check on the elderly they said, dont leave your animals outside and remember how quick you can get frost bite they lectured as if this was all of our first time living in Michigan in February.

I put my jacket on and zipped it up tight Monday afternoon as I headed home from work. Roads were fine and clear. Snowing big flakes, it was very cold out even though the sun was out. I live in the outer suburbs, and my drive home is short and scenic driving through the small town I work in then through a national forest and park area. Someone was jogging down the old train track that had been taken out to create a joggers/bike path. “Dumb ass” I thought to myself, no way you catch me exercising on such a cold day. Side note, I often see people jogging, riding their bikes, or walking their dogs on my way home from work. My first thought is always dumb ass. My second thought is usually that it is 4:15 in the afternoon, shouldn’t these people be working? Judgmental maybe? Sure, but I dont know them, and they dont know me. I do get a chuckle out of the fact that most of them are self absorbed enough to think that we are envious watching them being so healthy. Boy are they wrong… Dumb asses.

That is when it happened, my car beeped. I looked down at my dashboard and a light was on. Not just any light, the WORST light, my gas light. The beep, BTW was a signal response, as is the light on, that I am low on gas. For me, being low on gas has always been a thing, and now the pending weather coming to the area just adds to it. No mater how many times the husband reminds me not to let the car get to low on gas during the winter I always do, not on purpose, it is just I have better things to do than get gas, like get coffee! I have never actually run out of gas, an achievement my husband cannot say, if I ever do I will be pissed and have to come up with a clever reason so I dont look like a complete idiot and the husband cant say that he told me so.

So where was I anyway, oh yeah, Monday night, here comes the storm that my husband repeatedly warned me about, and I need gas badly. There are two gas stations, one by my work and one by my house, both I pass on my work route. Having already passed one, I think about stopping at the one by my house, gas is usually cheaper there anyway. Then I get to THE corner, the corner where I go straight to get gas or turn left to go home. The corner that has the turning lane and lots of traffic so there is no changing my mind. I get in the turn lane. I think to myself that I can get gas tomorrow in the morning, it wont be as busy there anyway. I turn left, then right then into my sub and finally home. I walk in the house and think how warm it feels on my face. I can smell the chicken the husband is making and I see the mess in the kitchen he made prepping it. It always feels good to be home, but especially after a cold and snowy commute. I tell him I didn’t get gas, and ask him to remind me that I will need to in the morning. Again he feels the need to tell me about the storm that has already started and will continue all night. Somewhere he uses the phrase “shit ton”, but I wasn’t really listening, I was already taking off my bra and putting on my comfy pants for the night.

My alarms goes off and I get out of bed quickly. I am a morning person I guess, I dont need more than one alarm. As I head to the bathroom I look out a bedroom window and let out a sigh. We got A LOT of snow, like a lot, dare I say a shit ton! I shower, get dressed, and start the car, thanking god for heated seats. I look at my phone, hoping that someone from work texted me that it was ok to stay home for the day. A snow day would be nice, I look at the thermometer and it read 3 degrees. I turn on the news to see what the road are like, every station is talking about the storm, how cold it is, how much snow we got and saying to stay home if you can. I remember I need to get gas so I off I go and head to work. I get to THE corner, this time left is gas, right is work. I turn right, I dont know how long it will take me to get to work and I dont want to be late I reason. Truth be told I just didn’t want to get out of the car in this cold. This might be a good time to mention that I did stop at a Starbucks and got coffee. Must have coffee duh. I got to work, with only 3 other vehicles in the parking lot and head inside where I am told that a text was sent out that we could stay home today. I didn’t get the text and made a joke about how this storm was nothing, and for a yooper this much snow isn’t a storm its just a driving challenge. I’m told we wont stay all day, probably only till noon. The installers (I work for a fiberglass install company) are not working today so as soon as all the jobs for the day are rescheduled it will be time to go home.

Around 1:30 one of the guys sticks his head in my office, time to go home as they have competed their work. I make a comment about getting a good head start on a sales project, but am ready to go. Outside it is still snowing, still windy and I still need gas, but the plows and salt trucks have been out and with hardly any cars around I felt pretty good about getting home quickly. I get to THE Corner again, I look at how much gas I have still in my car, its close to E, but not actually on E, maybe on the bottom line of the E. I see the miles I have left in the tank, do some quick math and get in the turn lane. I can get gas tomorrow morning I think, the gas station will be less busy tomorrow anyway. I turn left, then right then into my sub. My husband apologizes because he forgot to remind me to get gas . I tell him it’s ok, I’m good. He didn’t ask if I got gas, just assumed I did I guess. Thank goodness or I would have had to lie to him and tell him I got a shit ton of it!

Is that the sun?

Photo by Burak K on Pexels.com

This morning, as I usually do on a Sunday morning, I got up, put on my slippers and went down stairs to let the dog out. Also, as usual, everyone was was still asleep and the house was very quiet. I went into the kitchen started the coffee maker and picked a couple of dirty dishes out of the sink that evidently were placed there by some sort of spirit or entity that lives in our house at night since no family member ever admits to putting them there. Heading toward the sliding glass door to let the dog out was the first time I noticed it…

Pulling back the blinds and looking out the doorwall, the sun shone brightly hitting my face and flooding the room with it’s warmth. Instantly I woke up completely and for a moment thought that it would be a great day to throw on some boots and a take the dog for a walk. The sun has been missing around here for a couple of weeks now. Sure, it peaks out for a couple of minutes now and again just to tease us, but for the most part Mother Nature has let snowy days be the weather star for awhile now. Snow and cold, and lets not forget covid, have been hanging around to long, much like the neighbor that never knows when its time to leave and go home after a party.

As I stand by the slider and watch the dog stick his nose in the fresh, fluffy snow and run around with a happy case of zoomies, I watch the snow sparkle fresh and white as if the sun is making it shine like diamonds, calling me to come out a play in it like we did as kids. I have great memories of being a kid and playing in the snow. Most of the time the goal wasn’t to go out and do anything specific, the goal was just to go out and play. We seemed to let the day and the snow decide what we would do, sometimes it was a snowball fight or building a snowman. Sometimes we found the perfect snow drift or shoveled pile of snow to dig in and create the perfect fort in. Inside the fort we didn’t really do much, but enjoy the outdoors, and talk with our friends as if we were the only persons in the world living in that snowy fort. As I got older, the U.P. brought many things to do in the winter, ski, Ice skate, sled and whatever else we could dream up. Obviously it snowed, and snowed a lot in the upper peninsula, but that just gave us the opportunity to do more things! Funny, I dont remember many snow storms, but I remember a lot of beautiful sunny days spent outside in the snow.

My dog is back at the door now, still covered in snow, but wanting to come in quickly. I look at the thermometer and see that it is 6 degrees out. Dare I say, back in the day, six degrees meant nothing to me. If the sun was out then it didn’t really matter what the temp was, we were going out to have some fun outside. Letting the dog in I turn and think how cold 6 degrees is. As least it isn’t minus 6 degrees right? The dog and I walk into the kitchen and the smell of coffee is filling the air and calling my name. I pour a big mug and look out the kitchen window where the sun is still shining across the clean smooth snow in the back yard and hitting the frosted, slightly snow-covered trees making them shine in the early morning brightness of the day. Maybe I’ll run some errands today, maybe I’ll go see a friend or shop at an outdoor mall. Between winter grey and covid none of us have been out much and today seems like it might be the day.

As I enter the family room, I sit with my coffee in both my hands warming them and turn on the news. The dog jumps up next to me on the sofa and puts his head on my lap. The weather man, who is way too happy for anyone’s good by the way, says that the cold is here to stay for the next few days and with that will be more snow coming down. “Get outside” he says, “take the kids sledding” he says, it’s a great day for it! Who does this person think he is? He is not the boss of me. I grab a blanket and get comfortable with the dog to enjoy the quiet of the house, the warmth of my coffee and the sun shinning through the windows. I think to my self that running errands can wait, I dont need to go shopping, it warm here, in my house, with my dog and my coffee. The dog doesn’t need a walk he just ran around the back yard for a whopping 5 minutes, that’s enough exercise for today right? Once the family has woken up this can be our own little house snow fort, but with a fireplace, and a coffee pot… and snacks!

Snow more memories…

Here in Michigan, everyone knows it can snow any day from October to April, and sometimes, even earlier or later than that (I have pictures of it snowing in September). And the Upper Peninsula can have vastly different weather than lower Michigan, especially because of the always cold Lake Superior wind ever present in the area. Still, every time my Facebook memories come up and I see snow in the U.P. early in the winter season I am either surprised, or excited that I’m not up there in it. It is diffidently a love hate relationship that I have with those memories.

After moving to lower Michigan for just a few years, I remember vividly the first winter we moved back to the Upper Peninsula. That was the year (78-79)that the area I lived in, far west Gogebic county about 10 to 15 miles from Lake Superior, received over 250 inches of snow, and other parts of the U.P received over 350 inches of snow. We had a rod-iron decorative fence around our property and that year the top of it was far beneath the snow and you could walk across the lawn like there was no barrier at all. There was an empty lot on the opposite corner of the block we lived on and we kids played king of the hill on it often after school. I remember being at the top of the snow pile and looking down into the second story of the house that was next door, into a bedroom. We had a couple of dogs and they would often climb the snow pile by our garage and then run around on the top of the garage. I dont remember school being closed ever, we just did what we needed to do to get there. The ski hills loved the snow of course, a winter wonderland for sure.

Recently my Facebook page showed me a memory of a few years back when I went home to the U.P. and got stuck driving up my sisters very steep driveway. There was a good 12 to 15 inches of snow, I didn’t think I had lost my Yooper ability to drive in snow, but stuck deep, clearly I had! I had posted a picture with the caption, “Don’t miss this shit!” I looked at the picture of fluffy white clean snow with the sun rays bouncing off of it, then out my office window at the damp and muddy ground, it had been half snowing half raining for several hours and I dreaded going out in the mess to drive home. Maybe I do miss it…. snow that is. I remember cross country skiing to the nearby ski hill, then skiing all day. I remember taking inner tubes down a snowy hill being carful not to slide down to far and go into the road. Snowball fights, lots and lots of snowball fights. Getting snow in the top of your boots, making your ankles cold and socks that slid off inside your boots making you have to take the boots off and put them back on again, often while still in the snow. We never got many snow days in the U.P. you just went to school, but if we were lucky enough to get one we still went out anyway, but to the ski hill instead of school room.

I scanned the other pictures I had posted that day on social media. My husband and kids standing next to a snow pile. My kids throwing snowballs at each other. My sisters crazy ass dog, after having the zoomies, covered in snow, looking like he had been digging for hours in the white fluffy stuff. What if I did miss it? The snow that is. What if I say I do as an excuse for me not going home for a long time? The weather is too crazy, too much snow, I dont like that shit any more. What if I bitch about it because everyone else does, because it is a convenient excuse to not go there to visit? This is the week before Christmas and several more Facebook memories that either myself, or various family members have posted of the snow at home will appear in Facebook memories. I will look at them and smile, and remember the fun and the family. But maybe, instead of saying that I dont miss the shit maybe, I will at least think quietly, I miss this snow.

I’m caught in the middle, a yooper at heart, but a troll for more years than I care to count. People see my Upper Peninsula tattoo and ask if I’m a yooper, most everyone outside of Michigan have no idea what it is a tattoo of, which makes me laugh. When they ask me if I miss “living up there” I usually give a middle answer. “Yes, great place to grow up, but no, you cant make a living.” I haven’t bought a hat in twenty years. My friends say that I’m a yooper so I dont wear hats. People assume I can ski. I can, but haven’t for years. And of course there are the people who have been up there once, or have a kid that goes to school there, and now think they are a yooper too, so not even close. The snow, like being a Yooper is part of who I am, sometimes I love it, like when it is snowing big fluffy flakes and the sun make the flakes shine like stars. Sometimes I hate it, like when its below zero and the snow is wet and makes you cold to your bones. Either way I guess it is what it is and I should start embracing it…. but I think I’ll embrace the pictures of it on Facebook first, at least for this winter.