I don’t remember the first time I realized that I didn’t love winter. But I can remember the first time I realized that it’s much better to embrace winter (as it comes year after year) than fight it.
It was a cold and wintry Saturday. Matt and I were standing on a frozen lake in our hometown. Were people ice skating? No. Playing hockey? Nope. They were playing softball. You read that right. Our hometown hosts an annual fundraising softball on ice game. And although I had spent a good 27 years hating winter, that day I realized that I didn’t hate winter. I was just doing it wrong.
I recently read somewhere that hating Mondays is a ridiculous way to spend one-seventh of your week and it got me thinking that — in Michigan — hating winter is a ridiculous way to spend up to half of a year of your life.
Playing softball on a frozen lake may seem like a strange time to think to yourself that winter is great but there, dressed in at least six layers of clothing, I was having the time of my life. Adjacent to a bar (as any lake should be) in between games (as this tournament lasts an entire weekend) folks piled into that cozy bar, sat by a fireplace and enjoyed cold brews, hot soups and a good time.
Later that same winter (after we each invested in seriously warm winter coats) Matt, myself and our friends headed to Grand Haven to enjoy the one weekend in winter that our favorite corn dog stand opens. (As a side note: If you haven’t had a Pronto Pup, you are missing out.) Even in subzero temperatures, that corn dog was delicious and there was something kind of magical about hanging out in a beach town in the middle of winter.
Do I still long for spring and summer when I’m out shoveling my driveway? Of course. But then I remind myself that Michigan is my home and I love it, and if you love something, you have to love all of it.
That being said there are definitely ways to enhance your winter experience. Here are a few: