A Two-Day Bluster and Counting

My writing perch, Christmas Eve

I’m in Petoskey, Michigan, just thirty miles south of the Mackinac Bridge. We came over on Wednesday, threading the needle between stormy weather in northern Wisconsin and stormy weather across the Upper Peninsula. It was a smart choice. We had nice driving weather for our nine-and-a-half-hour trip. It was, however, bitter cold, which my dogs didn’t appreciate during their potty breaks.

On Thursday the temperature in Petoskey rose to 35°, the sun shone, and the Lake Michigan winds kept their breezy nature tucked away. My husband and I took my mom out for a drive in the morning because she wanted to do some shopping. After we dropped her off, my husband and I went to lunch and did some shopping, buying gifts for her, a bread pan for me, and caramel corn for him. Although a winter’s day, it was beautiful for walking in and out of shops in downtown Petoskey. I reminded my husband about the last time we had such beautiful weather for pre-Christmas shopping in Petoskey. Shortly after nightfall, temperatures sank; thick, wet snow blanketed trees, power lines, and the ground; and winds whipped into gale force strength. We lost power at 2:30 in the morning.


Once again, the nice weather we had on Thursday was the calm before the storm. By 7:00 p.m., the wind revved up its motor, the temperature dipped fifteen degrees, and the snow flew in horizontally off Lake Michigan. Fortunately, we haven’t lost power, but the water in the toilets sloshes back and forth and side to side like we’re on a ship in rough seas.

Each time I take the dogs outside, including walking my mom’s poodle, Bogey, I bundle up from head to toe–hat, goggles, down coat, long underwear, and boots. Yesterday morning I walked Bogey, and we had to trudge through knee-high snowdrifts. He likes to walk to the cul-de-sac to poo. He has a favorite spot. Sometimes as we walked the wind would gust, stopping me in my tracks and shoving me a step or two backwards. Later in the evening after dark, we repeated our trek through knee-high snow drifts, the wind pushing us around again. I thought about Jack London’s story “To Build a Fire.” I have a fine sense of the dramatic. But mostly, I wondered why anyone would set out for a long walk in subzero temperatures or blowing blizzards. I wasn’t going any place where I couldn’t see house lights.


The snowstorm bellowed all through the night, and the winds blew harder. This morning the snow is lighter, but the winds continue to roar off Lake Michigan. This weather front isn’t forecasted to loosen its grip until after Christmas Day.

So, it’s inside entertainment. I’ve watched a little bit of football, lost two games of cribbage, finished a five-hundred piece jigsaw puzzle, and I’ve done some reading and writing. Last night my mom and I watched Flawless, a movie starring Demi Moore and Michael Caine, which we both liked a lot. Today I wrote this blog while sitting in a second-story window seat, watching the white caps on Lake Michigan, listening to the whooshing winds, and being chilled by the cold air leaking through the windows. The winds are gusting at 45 mph. The snow is still falling. And because I’m very cold now, this blog must be done. I need a cup of hot cocoa with whipped cream.

Bogey, just back from our morning walk on Friday

9 thoughts on “A Two-Day Bluster and Counting

  1. We have blustery winds and freezing temps here in the suburbs of Pittsburgh PA. Yesterday and last night it was literally howling outside. I’m so thankful for our warm house. As I write historical fiction from the 1770s and onward, I always wonder how people survived the harsh weather conditions in the types of houses they had. That includes the colonist and the Native Americans. I have more and more respect for them these days.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I am saving this one. What a stunningly evocative description of a deep winter storm. I have relatives who emigrated from Poland around the 1890s. They settled in Petoskey. This gives me some sense of what they endured.

    When it’s wild outside, I like to bundle up as you did and go out IN it. I noted you put on goggles—essential. People who don’t understand this depth of cold forget about covering their eyes. I remember being on a ski hill once and I had to stop because my eyelashes kept freezing together. And I believe that was with goggles. What a gift to be able to see the lake from the window, despite the draft, hot cocoa right downstairs.


    Liked by 1 person

  3. Evocative. I’m cold not in California. Our new kitten is sleeping beside me without a care in the world. “To Build a Fire”! IIRC, it worked out better for the dog than the human. 🙂

    Earlier comments mentioned native peoples keeping warm and goggles. A woman I met in school who was native Alaskan mentioned people using two bones with a narrow slit wrapped around the face to protect the eyes in times past. I had trouble picturing it. People use modern protection now, I suppose.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. A good contrast in fine and foul weather. How fast the a day can change, yet the dogs MUST go out, so you get to experience outdoors in the moment. That’s awareness building and good descriptive exercise!

    Liked by 1 person

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