Christmas in October
This is an important news break from our regularly scheduled flashback. We will return to our program after this significant bulletin…
On the evening of Thursday, October 12 I was driving across Michigan’s Upper Peninsula- homeward bound. The wife had called me that morning all giddy and excited.
“It’s snowing!” she exclaimed, “It’s just like Christmas!”
After three years in Texas, we had missed out on three autumns and three winters, so the wife and I were just beginning to remember what they’re like. In Houston, winter means you stop suffering through 100 degree humidity and pull on a sweater for those crisp 75 degree days.
“But it’s not Christmas,” I said glancing at my calendar just to make sure I wasn’t the crazy one, “It’s October.” (For a brief moment, I was worried that perhaps I had thoughtlessly squandered two and a half months of opportunities to buy the wife a Christmas gift)
“I know it’s not Christmas! That’s not the point!” she said sharply, irritated with my matter-of-fact response. Her tone softened, “But it’s just so pretty…” (I breathed a sigh of relief that I still had 73 shopping days left to find a gift for the wife… meh, I’ll do it later)
With the exception of a chilly wind, the weather crossing the U.P. was uneventful- not even any signs of precipitation (wet or frozen). I was beginning to wonder if I would miss it all together. I headed south across the Mackinac Bridge and the wind picked up. The instant we got to Mackinaw City, the snow started coming down. The plows hadn’t hit the streets yet and the roads were in terrible condition. This bothered me. The second thing people say to you when they find out you’re moving to Northern Michigan after, “Oh man, you’re in for some harsh winters…”, is “… but they do a good job keeping the roads plowed”.
By the time I rolled into the Boyg around midnight, at least eight inches of snow had accumulated on the ground. The pale moonlight reflected off the snow-covered fields making it look like the surface of the moon. It all seemed so surreal and foreign. Truth be told, I may have even hummed a Christmas carol or two in my mind. When I got home, the wife gave me a forlorn look that said- “It’s going to be a long winter…” Maybe God was trying to warn us for what lies in the months ahead. We don’t own a snow shovel yet and seriously lack appropriate winter attire. We broke out the catalogs and began looking for the perfect down parka, hats, gloves, scarves and long underwear.
The next morning I awoke early to the sound of large trucks and amber-colored strobe lights. I went to the window and peered into the darkness. A plow was diligently clearing our rural road. The wife was right- we would certainly be tested this winter. Our survival would ultimately depend upon keeping morale up long after the holiday season was over. I am always up for an adventure. Besides, that which does not kill us… TBD.