Enough snow already

TRAVERSE CITY — As I write this, it has now snowed for 4,765 days in a row, by my estimate. Of course, I’ve been known to get a little nuts about winter this time of year, so I could be off by three or four thousand. But it certainly feels true.

– I know, I know. Take some Vitamin D. Sit under one of those silly full spectrum lamps. Take up meditation. Fly to Florida. I’ve tried all those things, and none of it helps. I don’t have SAD (seasonal affective disorder.) I have STGDDOWD, or Sick To (Bad Word) Death of Winter Disorder. Someday the medical community will recognize it as a legit thing.

– U.S. 2, the two-track that runs from the Mackinac Bridge to my hometown Escanaba, was officially but not actually closed for a day during last weekend’s snow drifts, according to a new story I saw. By “officially,” I mean the state did in fact declare it impassable. And by “not actually,” I mean the photo of U.S. 2 that accompanied the story. The road was indeed completely drifted over. But, of course, there were tire tracks plowing straight through it. Because that’s how Yoopers are. A closed road isn’t a warning, it’s a challenge.

– Every winter seems worse. Is that my imagination?

– German researchers studying the corpses of people with tattoos found ink in their lymph nodes. So, if I’m a member of the tattoo generation, I’d be a bit worried.

– I don’t bring that up to scare people with tattoos. I bring it up in case you were thinking you have the worst job on the planet. Take heart, you don’t.

– The Cohen hearings were dramatic and all that. But as someone who worked at newspapers for 30 years, I found myself admiring the stamina of the photographers who were hunched on the floor in front of Cohen. Eight straight hours they did that. I’m not surprised. Photogs are tough and patient cookies. I couldn’t do that. Could you?

– One of the best things about Walmart was they hired a lot of disabled people as greeters. Now they’re ending that practice and expanding the duties of the job to include tasks that may be beyond many greeters. Walmart’s profits for the last quarter of 2018 were $3.69 billion, by the way.

– If you’re an I-75 commuter, your life is about to get so much worse. They’re closing eight miles of the southbound lanes (Troy to Madison Heights) from March through November for road reconstruction. All I can say is, I feel your pain. I made that commute from Grand Blanc to downtown Detroit for nearly four years. On the best of days, it was a bear. Now it’s going to be a bear, a lion, a tiger and maybe a Gila monster for six months. But, hey, we wanted new roads. Short term pain. Long term gain.

– While they’re at it, they should add a commuter rail line from Detroit to Grand Blanc. Other states have nice things. Why can’t we?

– As a publicity stunt (and a good one), U.P. Supply Co. in Marquette figured out, apropos of nothing, it would take 693 years to resurface Lake Superior with a Zamboni. So now you know. U.P. Supply doesn’t make Zambonis by the way. But they do make U.P.-themed gifts.

– This week’s Words I Love: geezer, Zilwaukee, and umber. Yours?

“No winter lasts forever; no spring skips its turn.” – Hal Borland.

– Except maybe in Michigan.

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Andrew Heller, an award-winning newspaper columnist, appears weekly in the Daily Press. He graduated from Escanaba Area High School in 1979. Follow him at andrewheller.com and on Facebook and Twitter. Write to him via email at andrewhellercolumn@gmail.com.

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