My cats are good indicators of foul weather or something irregular going on outside of my home, and they were no different Monday morning. Both were running around the house from window to window in the early morning hours checking to see what was going on.

When I got up I gave them their customary morning breakfast and got to look outside the window at what was transpiring outside. It was snow and the cats were freaking out as the white flakes fell from the sky, blanketing the ground in white.

I couldn’t blame them, the appearance of snow had me internally freaking out myself, but I had to quickly remind myself that this is just one of the sacrifices that Michigan residents have to endure to live in such a beautiful state. At least with the cold weather and snow, the silver lining is the mosquitoes are not as bad outside right now!

I do not remember how early last year the snow came, but I know that it is earlier this year than in season’s past. I remember being able to sit in my hunting blind on Nov. 15 a few years ago, with dead leaves all around me and having to take my coat off because it was too warm during the day.

During those times there was nary a flake of snow on the ground, and as it turned out, nary a deer in the sights of my rifle. This year it seems that there will firmly be a blanket of snow on the ground as hunters get ready for rifle season.

Snow in Michigan poses a lot of daily challenges for its residents that people in other parts of the United States and world just do not have to deal with. There is the cleanup of the stuff by county road commissions that work throughout the storms to keep the roadways safe and as clean as possible so drivers will have safe trips two and from their destinations.

Often a few inches of snow means that things will go to a standstill, but as Michigan residents we know that we have to keep on plowing forward despite this weather and get things done, meaning we still have to go to work, kids will often still have to ride the bus to school and the mail will still be delivered by the Postal Service.

There is the challenge of keeping our homes warm in the winter, whether it is working hard to pay the bills during the winter months when it seems that the furnace doesn’t stop for days on end, or the struggle of hauling in firewood to shovel into the wood-stove. 

One thing that is challenging for many this time of year is the time change. The days are getting shorter with fewer hours of daylight that people have to endure, and it makes for early nighttime. You punch the clock at 5 p.m. and by the time you walk through your front door 20 minutes later it is dark outside.

Although there can be some bright times during the winter months, whether it is Christmas or New Years, it can be demoralizing too. I try to remember that although it seems like it is an endless season, it will not last forever, and soon we’ll be complaining about having to take care of lawns, running our air conditioners and other trials and tribulations that come with the other seasons.

Sometimes though winter is the best month to live in Michigan. When the snow stops and you’re driving on a country road somewhere, and the sunlight hits the snow-covered treetops or lights up a field so bright you can almost not even look at it, those are the beautiful times to be in the state. Lets face it, all the seasons of Michigan have their excellent points, and they all have their drawbacks as well. It’s part of living in a four-season state I guess.

So as the snow flies on this Monday morning I am going to keep my chin up and power through winter (although it’s technically still autumn until Dec. 21, but who’s counting?) and celebrate spring.