Monday, January 15, 2007

It's a marshmallow world in the winter

These pics are mostly for the folks who aren't in Michigan any more.

I know Oklahoma got some winter weather here lately, and maybe some of this reached south. But winter has finally arrived in Michigan it seems, even if it only comes in spurts and sputters.

The rain began to freeze last night, putting a glaze over everything. Even the grass is slippery, and breaks like glass when you walk on it.

Power is out all over the place around these parts. The morning drive wasn't so bad, but on the ride home I saw lots of downed tree branches. It was gorgeous.

The pictures are just from around the apartment complex, but I thought of going down the street - the really old part of town - to catch the action. Entire streets were nothing but white and ice and quiet. Everyone stayed in today, except us at the credit union, because of Dr. King's day - and because of the weather.

These are the kind of storms I remember as a kid: dragging my sled around the neighborhood, picking twigs off the crabapple trees and sucking on the ice that coated them. Big snow piles in the parking lot you could either slide down or make a fortress for you and your friends.

Winter was childhood, especially in Michigan, although any season was ripe enough to go outside and play.

The trees are bent because of the weight of the ice. The lucky ones are still standing. Don was watching the news last night, with reports of car ports crashing down on the vehicles underneath because of the snow and ice.

"You should move your car," he told me.

I laughed. This is Michigan. It might as well be Ontario, or Minnesota. We know what winter is, and we build things to withstand the extra weight. Nature forgets, though.

I though I was forgetting, too, until I woke up this morning with a tell-tale tickle in the back of my throat.

Winter is the time to get a cold. Those spring and summer colds are just a kick in the crotch. You're not supposed to get sick when the sun is shining and warm. Winter is the proper season, because everyone's miserable, and no one feels sorry for you.

"Yeah, that's going around," they tell you. No, "Aw shucks," or "Boy, I hate being sick this time of year." No, those condolences are saved when birds chirp.

This time of year, you're on your own.

It's the season of hot soup and warm cider and the never-ending drone of the heater, so being sick only makes sense. Who wants to go out in this mess, anyway?

Well, except maybe to grab a few pretty pictures. Then it's okay.

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