While bougainvillea and oranges bloom, the happy snowbird steps barefoot on the warm tiles of her lanai and dials my Florida number. Knowing full well I’m currently in the Upper Peninsula, what the temperatures in Michigan are and how much snow has fallen, the temporary Florida dweller nevertheless inquiries about the weather “up there.” My friend’s concerned question is all fake, of course. There is no commiseration in the inquiry, just pure pleasure in my misery of being blanketed by mounds of snow over the next few months.
After the conversation about weather, other jokes come to mind. “If you have more miles on your snow blower than on your car, you may live in Michigan. If your local Dairy Queen is closed from November through March, you may live in Michigan.” Both are true statements. Even when I dial 911, a recorded message says, “Phone back in the spring!”
I hear these and other semi-humorous statements now because I’ve spent more time in Michigan than Florida this year and have friends enjoying winter in Florida. I just have to accept Michigan winter comes with weather jokes.
Nonetheless, when my Florida friends tease me with Michigan jokes, I can remain unperturbed. I know that no matter where I am there would be other slights, most of them good-humored and meant to amuse. It’s their way of letting me know they miss me.
Besides, I take comfort knowing that winter driving in the U.P. is better now because snow fills in the potholes.