The February Frost

February never seems to disappoint as a month for winter weather.

You never know when the lake will decide to cut you off from the mainland. Well, I suppose you can have a good guess about it if you checked the weather and followed up on ice conditions enough… but for the average person like myself who sticks with a weather app and a peek out the window every morning for what’s going on outside, it’s hard to tell. One day the boats are running all day, the next they’ve cancelled one and the rest are running, the next they’re back to the normal schedule, the next they aren’t running at all… then we get high winds and the ice breaks up enough to run again. That’s the scenario I’m hoping for at the moment, enough winds to blow all the ice out of all the bays and let the Mighty Huron right through. For the time being this though, we’re limited to plane service.

I’m not one to leave the island very often, so when the winter season starts, I’m happily content on staying put for as long as possible. Last year I didn’t leave the island until the end of March. This year, I left the island for a weekend in February to pick up groceries and help organize my mom’s house, then headed back home the following Monday… three days later, the boats stopped running.

Looking Over the Edge
Looking Over the Edge

Even with the more frigid temps, I’m enjoying more time outdoors. The views are especially more beautiful when there’s a light layer of snow on the trees, and I’m reminded of the snowglobe-like quality of the island. It’s as though someone just shook us and after a few minutes of swirling inside the globe, the snow has finally settled.

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Schoolyard Sunset
School yard Sunset

If there’s any time of year I find ideal for self reflection, it’s now. I’ve been trying to figure out what it is that I want to accomplish for this year and I’ve realized that most of what I’m doing doesn’t fit what I want. So I’m making a conscious effort to stand up for myself, choose projects I believe in and be unapologetic for my decisions. I’m making small adjustments towards happiness. 

If any of you might recall, over a year and a half ago I had asked for your help with a deeply personal project. I’d like to share some progress with you on how it’s going, and although it is far from finished, I’m still proud of what I’ve done so far. I’ve grown rather fond of painting on wood panels in the process, and now plan to paint on more of the same in the very near future.

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Let me leave you with a few final pictures of the ice buildup near the boardwalk:

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Until next time,

Heather

A Mackinac Winter

Out of all the wintery days that we’ve had in this new year, none have seemed more like winter than last Friday. Just a brushing of light snowfall, so constant and unwavering that it gently coats the tree branches and winter foliage just enough to cause a whiteout all around you. When it snows, air is trapped between the snowflakes, attenuating vibration, and absorbing sound. That’s why it seems so much more quiet when it snows. 

I always think of this when I’m walking to work in a light snowfall; just a calm moment before the everyday noise and jumbling of work begins is what I consider an ideal way to start the day. Better than a hot cup of coffee. And then on other days, when work is over, that is, a little noise is a welcome addition to the day. That’s when the revving of snowmobiles around town seem more exciting than normal. 

I haven’t had the opportunity to find myself on a snowmobile ride in recent years, but when you’ve got an adventurous driver, you know you’re in for a good drive. Most drivers are friendly as well… I will often times find myself walking up the big hill past the Grand Hotel and someone will stop to offer me a ride. Now that the island’s roads are full of snow (compared to the first week of the New Year when the snow had disappeared), snowmobiles are much more frequent around town. There’s also plenty of opportunities to travel by fat tire bike, cross country skis, or snowshoes, but at the end of the day, I will always be in favor of a walk. Anyway, if anyone reading out there happens to be located in a place with snow right now, and you have the good fortune of walking (or driving) on snow-covered trails, I highly recommend it. It’s a delightful way to start out the new year.

-Heather