Where a pasty is a delicious food thing, not a tassled nipple cover

Have you ever jumped off the roof of your house into a deep bank of snow only to have someone else pull you out of the unexpectedly cavernous hole your body created when you plunged in feet-first?  Have you ever carried your beach towel, sunscreen, and sand buckets to the lake while dodging piles of slushy, melting snow because you just had to go swimming on the lake’s Memorial Day Opening?  Have you ever given up on a costume and resigned to wear only a scary monster mask since your snowsuit would cover up the rest of your pathetically cold and shivering body on Halloween night?

My childhood hometown of Marquette, Michigan is currently experiencing a Winter Storm Warning during this 36-degree night.  I, on the other hand, was gifted with a beautiful sunny day of 95 degrees here in North Florida.  Still, even at midnight, I can walk outside without a jacket. 

The thought of being cold makes my body hurt. Seriously.  Cold is painful.  It makes my bones rattle when they clank against each other, banging around and making a ruckus.  My muscles tense up, especially around my neck and shoulders, probably in some self-defense position against the damn air conditioning unit that’s set in my office building at mid- to high-60s.  The other ladies in my office complain about being too warm, too stuffy.  I think they’re going through menopause.  In fact, I hope they are because that only means, for me, that life will one day be comfortable.

When others are hot, it’s a sure sign that I’ll be comfortable.  80 degrees inside?  No problem.  I might even take off my hoodie.  This whole menopause thing gives me hope that one day I’ll be able to go to work without a sweater. 

I don’t know how I ever functioned up north.  Especially that far up north.  Even people who’ve lived in Michigan their whole lives have no idea where Marquette is.  It’s like the lower peninsula is the only peninsula.  Everything north of there is…well, Canada. 

The correct term for us is Yoopers, as in Da U.P…Yoo-Pers?.  We even have a website. Or you can use this handy map to guide you in your Yooper slang:

While I’m not even sure I’m considered one anymore, Yoopers are a special breed of people.  Much like those of us who can withstand 100-degree heat coupled with 100% humidity without complaining about much except how the combination of heat and steam makes our hair very fluffy and frizzy, Yoopers certainly are a special breed.  No question about that.

Did I mention it’s May 8th and there is a Winter Storm Warning issued for the Upper Peninsula, eh?  It is a balmy 74 degrees at the moment and I’m considering treating myself to a Mother’s Day weekend trip to the beach, probably tomorrow.  And I don’t even have to dodge slush puddles just to get there. 

No.  It’s official.  I’m a Floridian. (((Winter Storm Warning??  AHGAWD!!!)))


About Dena

I'm a suburban Clevelander by way of Oklahoma City, by way of North Florida, by way of Southern Maryland, by way of Upper Michigan, by way of Northern Italy, by way of Lower Michigan, by way of Texas. Because of living in so many places, I have something in common with almost everyone I meet. I love reading, writing, and American history (especially reading or writing about American history). I'm interested in culture of place, historical trauma, and writing about the kinds of histories most people don't know about.
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