We Michiganders are currently living in a winter wonderland, as snow seems to be blanketing every corner of the Great Lakes State. While emotions about the cold weather are undoubtedly mixed, the memories we’ve made over the years remain relatively standard. If you grew up in Michigan, here are a few wintertime experiences you can surely relate to.
1. The pain of NOT getting a snow day.
If you grew up in Michigan, you likely recall the distinct disappointment of waking up and seeing plenty of snow outside, only to flip on the radio or TV and realize that a snow day wasn’t in the cards. Here in the Great Lakes States, we’re well accustomed to blizzard-like conditions, which means that days off have always been painfully rare.
2. The rare snow day.
While snow days have always been rare for the majority of Michiganders, they aren’t unheard of -- and there was nothing better as a child than waking up to the realization that school had been canceled. After all, does anything instill more instant glee than a day of sleeping in, drinking hot cocoa, and playing outside with neighborhood pals?
3. Slipping on the ice in front of your friends.
We Michiganders are no strangers to icy sidewalks, but we’re also not immune to a few slips and trips. If you’ve experienced a Michigan winter, you’ve also likely experienced the unique embarrassment of falling flat on your backside after walking over a particularly slippery patch of snow and ice. The worst part? As a child or teen, your crush always seemed to magically be nearby when you lost your battle with the ice.
4. The uncomfortable feeling of sweating while shoveling.
When the snow falls in droves, Michiganders head outside to embark on what seems like a non-stop shoveling journey. While the act of shoveling is a workout in itself, there’s something deeply uncomfortable about the odd combination of coldness mixed with sweat. Your hands and nose might be frozen, but your body still manages to perspire under your heavy coat. Gross!
5. Hitting a crazy jump while sledding.
If you spent your formative years in Michigan, you undoubtedly headed out for a few expeditions down the snowiest hill in your neighborhood. While there was always plenty of fun to be had zooming straight down the chilly hillside, nothing beat the exciting shock of hitting a major "jump," which would send your sled flying through the air. We’re sure a few injuries were sustained during your sledding days, too!
6. Ice skating under the stars.
Ah, ice skating. No wintertime activity is more peaceful or romantic, and Michigan is no stranger to the beauty of this outdoor sport. Whether you slipped every 30 seconds or impressed your pals with figure eights, there was nothing more magical while growing up in the Great Lakes State than lacing up your skates and venturing out on the ice.
7. Wearing shorts in January.
If there’s one thing that sets Michigan apart, it’s the fact that our state’s weather can never seem to make up its mind. We’ve been known to experience snow in May and balmy temperatures in the middle of December. If you grew up in the Great Lakes State, we’re sure you’ve been witness to many of these confusing temperature fluctuations throughout the years.
8. Exploring the beauty of a frozen beach.
Venturing to Lake Michigan, Lake Superior, Lake Huron, or any other frozen body of water during the wintertime has long provided Michiganders with an otherworldly experience. No matter what your age, there’s something genuinely magical about walking alongside ice formations and gazing out at the alien landscape of a frozen Great Lake. Every Michigan kiddo certainly has memories of a frozen beach!
9. Nearly freezing during outdoor recess.
Every Michigan child knows the familiar feeling of returning from outdoor recess at school, only to find that snow has somehow soaked straight through those heavy-duty boots Mom so carefully picked out. Of course, kiddos are rarely known to complain about playing out in the snow, but there were undoubtedly a few recess sessions on especially cold days that we could have gone without.
10. Getting sick of the phrase "lake effect."
If there’s one phrase every Michigander has heard at least six million times, it’s "lake effect." From hairdressers to teachers to family and friends, everyone in the Great Lakes State seems mildly obsessed with this natural phenomenon. If you’ve spent much of your life in Michigan, we’re sure you’ve had your fill of lake effect snow - and the conversation that surrounds it.
11. Admiring the splendor of our snowy state.
Whether you’re a lifelong Michigander or a recent transplant, one thing is for certain: you’ve undoubtedly stopped and gazed out at the beauty of a snow-covered Michigan landscape. There’s something fantastically beautiful about our state during chillier months. Sure, you might hear us complaining about the weather from time to time - but there’s really no place like Michigan in wintertime.
Tell us, Michiganders: are there any other wintertime memories that every true Michigander will recall? Please feel free to share your thoughts with us in the comment section, and stay warm!