I woke up Sunday morning to ten inches of fluffy snow on the ground in our front yard. Welcome to Winter, 2010, finally.
Normally, I would have been thrilled with the gorgeous transformation of our landscape, but it was tempered by my concern about the official unveiling/book-signing of “Portrait of a Peninsula” that afternoon.
But of course, this is the U.P, and Yoopers have no problem negotiating their way through a foot of snow.
And as it turns out, people did show up–a couple hundred of them, at least. A great afternoon, and Paul Grant, Marquette’s favorite artist, was gracious to friends old and new, and grateful to everybody who showed up and bought the books.
Next signings: Snowbound Books in Marquette on Saturday from 1-3 pm. And Midtown Bakery in Negaunee from 3:30-5 pm on Saturday.
Speaking of the U.P.’s long, cold winter, here’s something I tell all the young people who come to work for TV6 and Fox UP: embrace it. Put plenty of layers of clothes on, buy yourself some skis or snow shoes or a sled, or just a sense of adventure, and go out and enjoy it.
Marquette Mountain is open, so of course is Ski Brule, Indianhead, just about every resort and ski hill in the UP. No they’re not Aspen or Vail, but you can have fun, you don’t have to worry about being stylish, and you don’t have to spend a ton of money. Or bring your cross country skis to the Noquemanon Trail Network or Blueberry or dozens of other trails and spend a couple of hours in paradise–just you with maybe a friend or two, snow fluttering down from the sky, past trees weighted down with their mass of heavy, white gleaming decorations, across a white terrain of gentle ups and downs.
Like I said, paradise. I live ten minutes from such places. Vacationers come from hundreds of miles away to enjoy what for me and so many other U.P. residents is a routine and convenient activity.
More evidence of the burgeoning Buy Local movement. MI Upper Hand has opened for business. It’s based in Marquette but it’s strictly online. It’s really simple–the company sells products made in the U.P. to anywhere in the world. They’ve got a warehouse here and their inventory is growing daily.
And then there’s Zattacard–another Marquette-based business. Here’s how it works: you buy a card for 10 dollars and 9 of those dollars go to the non-profit of your choice. You then use that card to get discounts and special deals at dozens of small, local businesses. So you win, the non-profits win, the businesses presumably will win with increased business, and a couple of entrepreneurial women, Christi Pentecost and Nancy Caldwell win with a new business that is expanding daily.
In a season of increasingly bitter cold, and a time of extended economic stress, there’s still plenty to smile about.
Just put on your jacket and gloves, go outside, and savor the wintry feast all around us.