A Guideline for Snowbirds

As we Michiganonians look forward to spring and dig out from Snowpocalypse II, we are all getting those charming phone calls from our friends vacationing in Florida. You know the ones; "I'm on the third tee - what are you up to? Your armpits it snow? Oh, sorry to hear it..." Here is a column I wrote a while back, dealing with this exact subject. It now lives in my book, What I've Learned So Far... Part I: Bikes, Docks & Slush Nuggets.

First published March 11, 2005

Two kinds of people live in Michigan in the winter. There are those who manage to go South and get warm for a while, who we’ll call “Snowbirds,” and there are those who don’t, who we’ll call “Depressed.” I don’t count people who go to Hawaii, which is clearly not “South.” These people are in a third category, and we’ll call them “Arrogant Pampered Jerks.” I’d really rather not talk about them. 

Now if you’ve lived around here for any length of time, you’ve probably found yourself in one category or the other depending on the year – some winters you get a little time in the sun, and some winters you don’t. When I don’t, I try not to begrudge the luckier folks, because I figure sooner or later my turn might come around again, and I don’t want to find myself getting all begrudged.

So I was as gracious as I could manage last week when my friend called me from Florida, just as I got home from work. “Hey man,” I said, cheerfully stomping the ice out of the treads of my sneakers, “How’s the Sunny South?”

“It rained for over an hour today. Can you believe it?”

“Oh, I’m sorry to hear that,” I replied, sympathetically shaking the snow out of my jacket and hair. “Well, at least it’s warm down there.”

“Warm! It barely got to seventy-five degrees today!”

Fight the Chill - Fire Up THe Grill

For Michiganites, January means different things to different people. For some, it means tuning up the skis and heading to a resort for a few days of carefree fun, frolic, and compound fractures. For others, it's off to Florida to bask under a cloudy sky on a 45 degree day, then send smug postcards to the people they work with back home.

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