Monday, March 11, 2013

More March MADness – Also Sans Basketball By Margo Hoornstra

Like many of my colleagues here at the Roses of Prose, the particulars of what March Madness means to me has nothing to do with basketball. And, in my case, everything to do with anger.

No, anger is too strong. A better word to describe my displeasure would be frustration. Frustration that, in our neck of the woods which is the upper Midwest, winter has to hang on for so gol darned long.

I know that little flurry guy from Pennsylvania recently predicted an early Spring, but I’d just like him or his representative to explain the major winter storms that continue to maul their way across the, well, upper Midwest.

Maybe part of my madne—um, frustration stems from the fact we recently returned from two weeks in Arizona. And though the weather wasn’t optimal by their standards—temperatures barely reaching sixty degrees by day that plummeted to forty something at night—it sure beat the blizzard conditions and freezing temperatures we left behind in Michigan.

My husband and I are avid walkers—used to be runners, but that’s a story for another day. Rain, shine or whatever, we hit the streets most every day for our anywhere from three to six or seven miles. One of the best things about being in Arizona, in addition of course to the relatives we went there to visit, was being able to step out the door to walk without having to layer on the clothing such as waterproof wind breakers, hats and ski gloves. In Arizona, we were the short sleeve shirts and shorts clad walkers. As opposed to the obvious locals we occasionally met who were wearing long pants and, yes, winter jackets.

On our return to Michigan, it was a watch your step on the icy path kind of walk that can really mess up your stride, and, darn but that wind is so sharp it’s making my eyes water.

However, being of the glass half full persuasion—or maybe I just wanted to make myself feel better—I began to concentrate more on the pros of this walk than focusing on the cons.

In the Phoenix area where we were, people abound. A walk there, even in the suburbs, included cars, lots and lots of cars to watch out for. In our little town in Michigan, a walk means country roads and scenic paths. Even walking down Main Street at ten AM there’s rarely a car in sight.

Also on the walk in Michigan, after a mile or two my toes were no longer numb and my fingers warmed up to the point I traded my heavy duty ski gloves for a pair of the simple, dollar a pair knitted variety. And though we had to maneuver around snow banks and patches of ice, the sun did emerge for the last half hour which was nice. And the sky overhead was the same pretty blue I remembered from Arizona.

But the true pro versus con test became clear by what my husband pointed out when I told him I was writing this essay;

“We sure tend to move a lot faster here in Michigan so we can get out of the cold.”




Jannine Gallant said...

Not being a city person, I can't imagine walking on crowded streets. Me - I'm out in the woods with the dog and no one else. Of course there are big, clunky snowshoes on my feet! I'm looking forward to spring, but I've still got a month or two to go. Sigh.

Margo Hoornstra said...

And I am a city person who's been totally countrified and can never go back. Don't put the snowshoes away yet. Sigh. Although today, we walked in the rain, not snow. That's encouraging.

Barbara Edwards said...

That snow sounds like my home. twenty-two inches in the last storm closed the sidewalks and left the drifts several feet deep. I'm happy I'm not there. Yep, going south is the only way to find an open path.