Saturday, January 8, 2022

Winter in the North (Miami) Country by Liz Flaherty

I am writing this on Friday morning. It is five above. I'm still settling into the new year, writing 2021 2022 every time, and trying to think profound thoughts. So far, it's not working. Most of my thoughts are centered around the wind chill factor and how long I can put off going into the house because the distance between my desk and the back door grows in exponentially with each degree the mercury drops.

And now I must admit it is early Friday evening and this is as far as I've gotten. This has been my fear most of my writing life--that I would just flat run out of things to say. (I think I have family members who have prayed for this to happen, but I forgive them. Really.)

I was looking back today about how winters used to be a lot more...wintery...than they are now. White Christmases were, if not likely, not improbable, either. I miss that. Not the actual snow so much as how things felt. Hot chocolate tasted better. So did cookies. It was fun to walk in snow. 

However, I wasn't afraid of falling down then. It was actually kind of fun. 

I remember high school basketball games being so exciting, both when I was a kid and when I was a player's mom. When I was in elementary school, it invariably snowed on sectionals weekend. My dad worked on the highway, my brothers had to miss ballgames because our road wasn't a primary one for the snowplows. I think there was a lot of cussing that went on. 

Picture by Betsy Hiffner

The winter we moved from the nice town subdivision to the wilds of northern Miami County was when the Blizzard of 1978 happened. My husband stayed in town, and the kids and I hunkered down in a house with questionable insulation, a questionable furnace, and a lane so full of snow I thought I'd never get my car down it again.

The only things about the blizzard that are fun are the old pictures and the selective, inaccurate memories. 

So, this morning--Saturday--it's 14 above. The distance between the house and the office can now be measured in miles instead of feet. And, really, it's not so bad. 

I don't often regret being the age I am. I've had so much fun in my life. I'm still having fun. Aside from aches and pains, this time is filled with family, friends, music, books, art, and a whole bunch of laughter. It's a blessed time.

For us. But for people who don't have heat or can't afford heat, whose transportation is negligible, whose food supply is iffy, whose knowledge of available resources prevents them from staying safe, these temperatures are scary business. 

Have a good week. Stay warm. And it is for those I mentioned in the paragraph above that I urge you to be nice to somebody. 


Watch the blog for Wednesday at the Window. I'm having guest posts every week and I'm looking forward to what they have to say. First up is writer friend Jan Scarbrough!


  1. Yes, I remember the blizzard of '78--we closed off most of our little in-town cottage because we were running low on heating oil and the trucks couldn't get through. When they finally filled our tank, it only had 2 gallons left in it. Stay warm and safe!!

    1. It was worrisome, wasn't it? I remember our oil guy, Ben Smith, called us every day until he could get the truck up the driveway. Our LP man wrapped a strap around a tank and pulled it to the house so we never ran out of hot water, either!

  2. I remember the blizzard too - I was a freshman in high school. Being in my first year there, I was heartbroken that we missed 2 1/2 weeks of school at a time when I wanted to go to school! My mom cussed a lot that winter. We lived in a trailer so warmth was iffy when the wind blew. But when a friend's dad picked me up in his 4 wheel drive and took us sledding in the park, it was well worth it! Snow is so much more fun when you're still a kid. Stay warm out there!

    1. It is more fun when you're a kid, but even as an experienced adult :-), I love looking at it!

  3. Winters and snow are not as much fun as when we were kids. Growing up in Wisconsin I remember those snow days and how excited we were to be able to go out and play in the snow and then as a young adult learning how to ski. The older I get the less I like the snow and cold. It is still beautiful but not when it is wet and heavy and I have to shovel even if just a walkway. It is like a beautiful rose. You can smell and see the beauty but you need to take care you don't prick or scratch yourself on a thorn. Please continue to write.

    1. Thank you so much, and let us both continue to enjoy smelling those roses!