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The Five Stages of Michigan Winter Grief

Winter has arrived in Michigan and with it comes moods swings that are just as varied as the temperature and the weather.

Eventually, most of us learn to accept winter in Michigan, but it can take a while to reach that point. Just like it takes a while to clear the snow after a storm or travel anywhere when the roads are bad, which is most of the time.

And don’t forget, even when winter is gone and temperatures have warmed, winter leaves behind one last gift thanks to all of that freezing and thawing.

Potholes. Add it to the list of reasons to grieve about winter in Michigan.

Here are the five stages of Michigan winter grief.

Matt Milhouse, TSM
Matt Milhouse, TSM





Some people take longer to exit this stage than others, but the deniers are easy to spot. You can find them wearing shorts and t-shirts, driving with the windows down or playing golf.

All eventually move on to the next stage, but remain just one 50 degree day away from a relapse.


Matt Milhouse, TSM
Matt Milhouse, TSM





Some never move past this stage. They instead move to Florida.

For the rest of us, anger comes as:

  • Two-tracking up north is replaced with two-tracking in your driveway.
  • Cold drinks are replaced with colds.
  • Lawn mowers are replaced with snow blowers.
  • Going to get the mail is replaced with going to look for your mailbox.

Matt Milhouse, TSM
Matt Milhouse, TSM





A few common, misguided thoughts:

  • It’s just like summer if you turn the thermostat to 80.
  • It’s fun using the garage as an extra refrigerator during the holidays.
  • Sunscreen is too expensive anyway.
  • Snowplow lights make the roads more festive.
  • Shoveling snow is good exercise.

Matt Milhouse, TSM
Matt Milhouse, TSM





The fact that the sun basically disappears during winter doesn’t help. Neither does arriving home to discover that you’ve been barricaded from your own property thanks to a wall of snow left behind by a snowplow at the end of your driveway.

Those heating bills hurt too.


Matt Milhouse, TSM
Matt Milhouse, TSM





When and if we make it this far, winter in Michigan can be a lot of fun. Skiing, sledding, ice skating, snowmobiling, snowmen, snow forts and more.

It’s all made a little better with the knowledge that winter is over in March…or April or at least by May.

Plus, if you know someone who likes the cold and snow a little too much, you always have the option of pelting them with a snowball.


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