Lower Northwest Michigan Insights

Things I am learning about life here:

–It is possible to live in lower northwest Michigan and meet someone who introduces herself by saying, “I’m from Canada, south of here.”
–People don’t say “Bye” when you leave the bar/restaurant/post office. They say, “Keep it on the road.” Meaning: your car. Keep it on the road. Not in the ditch.
–Free unshelled peanuts at a bar? A free basket of chips? Perhaps some sliced bread with butter? No. Not here. Instead: pretzels with mustard.
–Some people sprinkle salt on thin slices of red bell peppers and eat them one by one, as though they were French fries.
–Winter is but a mere category that has many subcategories. Hardwater season, one such subcategory, is what really counts.
–Snow does not fall straight down. It falls every other direction, including up. How it ends up on the ground is beyond me. On more than one occasion, this writer has been repeatedly slapped her own head with heavily mitted hands to induce any feeling other than the feeling of ice daggers piercing her face. What once was known as the warm, heated environment of “a hood,” now serves as a hostile entrapment for snowflakes that do not, I repeat do not, fall straight down.
–If you see an ice fisherman driving his truck in the bleary hours of dawn and he does not have his morning cup of coffee in his hands, that is because he is driving headlong to bed and has been on the ice all night netting smelt.

Showing 2 comments
  • Anonymous
  • Autumn

    Ahhh…good memories. I spent my first 23 years in Michigan. South of Ludington. Pretzels and mustard..yum! Although, I like spicy brown or hot mustard not yellow. Red pepper slices…so good. Snow in every direction? Oh yes! Driving to school in blizzards? yep! Where you can barely see the tracks in front of you and the red lights of a car. Don't follow too close, you never know if they are going to stop and it'll be too late (you also can drive right off the road with them!). I used to smelt, but this is a little early, isn't it? I remember waders and late night beach runs with lanterns on a pole and nets. Called dipping. Haven't done it since I was a kid, though. I remember sneaking up a dune with some friends and interrupting some teens' drinking party. We booked it out of there while they were throwing bottles at us.

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