By Ken DeLaat
There will be no wowee in Maui, we ain’t departin’ for Sint Maarten, and the Keys is just a tease because as the Bob Dylan song goes “Get your mind off wintertime 'cos you ain’t goin’ nowhere.”
This year for a variety of reasons we are Mitten bound. Not an altogether bad thing because this is truly a wondrous pair of peninsulas we have here. And it’s not like we haven’t stayed the winter in other years by choice or chance but somehow it’s decidedly different this year
It wasn’t particularly disturbing to see the photos posted all over social media of friends and family basking in the sun, lolling on the beach and strolling about in shorts and tees while seemingly never ceasing to smile.
And my TripAdvisor cyber penpals showing me where the top ten winter destinations are this year didn’t dampen by spirits to any great extent, though the beach cottage in Roatan was compelling enough to warrant further investigation (for curiosity's sake of course in case Lil is reading this).
Even another year of living with the unrealized as yet dream of Ken’s Curacao Cafe produced barely a sliver of existential ennui.
No, it was simply the high school baseball game video sent to me by my significantly older (though not as significantly as the other brother) brother.
It was the type of Cabin Fever episode that had gone unexperienced for many years. I suddenly wanted, no needed, to see a game. Not on TV I mean a live, right in front of me, hot dog in hand, wearing shorts that reveal a pair of seriously pale legs, leaning on a fence, baseball game. It mattered not who would be playing it was the experience I craved.
Once the benefits of an impulse driven spur of the moment departure (unlayered clothing, warm sun, beaches,a chlorine free swim or two, etc.) were weighed against a litany of considerable consequences that would surely result from such impetuous behavior, I was resigned
It wasn’t going to work.
I went outside (after layering up) and sat on the deck looking at the frozen lake.
I recalled a few years ago….well, maybe 30 or so….while working in the Eastown section of Grand Rapids during late March, a time when a lengthy and snow filled winter determined to stay long past its welcome was crawling slowly to an end.
Or so it was thought.
Out of the blue another snowstorm hit and hit hard. Looking out the window of my office I noticed for the first time ever there existed a little travel agency across the street. With one more glance at the new snow collecting rapidly on old snow a visit was made.
‘A flight for 2 and a rental car by Friday for a week someplace warm ok?’
“Most flights have been booked for months.”
‘Figured that. Just see what you can do, please?’
It ended up being a small commuter jet with stops in Indianapolis, Nashville, Birmingham, Atlanta and finally Tampa.We drove to Clearwater found a hotel stayed a week and took the same commuter flight back.
And we saw a ballgame.
Not a lengthy trip and certainly not an economical trip but all in all a vitally necessary trip.
And a lesson learned about seasonal survival.
Admittedly after years of having some mid winter respite for a week or two there was confidence about going without just this once. A confidence that made no appearance the night when launching an extensive and nearly all-inclusive series of curses while shaking my fist upward at the falling snow seemed like an appropriate response after shoveling the same driveway for the fifth time.
And I duly apologize to the folks who were leaving the house next door at just that moment. I would do it in person but I’ve noticed they haven’t been back since.
Resignation and a little teaser of Spring these past few days have tempered the frost frayed emotions a bit. It won’t be long now and even Opening Day is but a month or so away
But next year?
Well, there’s this beach cottage in Roatan….
Letter to the Editor Policy
Near North Now welcomes original letters from readers on current topics of general interest. Simply fill out the form below. Letters submissions are limited to 300 words.