Pretending It’s Pleasant

Yesterday the skies offered up more of the same garbage we’ve seen for weeks now – maybe even months or years. Tired of languishing inside, we drove through alternating bouts of rain and snow into Traverse City. We met friends for lunch at a little French bistro, and happily discovered that lunch apparently starts at noon, and that if you arrive at 11:50, you have the whole place to yourself for about ten minutes πŸ™‚

Business as usual, we followed up lunch with dessert coffee (white chocolate, hazelnut latte for me), and a nice long chat with a barista-friend we hadn’t seen in far too long. Fully sated, and needing to let our friend do his job, we headed back outside. Since the weather was still having its tantrum, we rode around town a bit, stalking a house that our friends had gone to put an offer on. (I know, exciting – I’m still wondering if they slept any last night!)

View from nearby Wayne Hill – yes that’s snow falling on the bay
West Bay - Wayne Hill

While I was out of the car taking the above picture, the sun peeked out for a moment, warming my coatless back. Armed with that optimism, we rolled down the hill, and parked at West End beach for easy access to a paved lakeshore trail. Unfortunately, said trail was mostly covered in thick, slippery slush. Fortunately, the lower portion of the beach was clear, so our we altered our plans in favor of a beach walk.

Our optimism soon paid off; as we neared the marina, blue sky broke through the miasma, and for a moment it actually felt like spring.

Below the break wall at the Clinch Park open space
Clinch Marina - below the breakwall

However, turning back into the wind, it felt decidedly less seasonable. We decided that regardless of the slush, perhaps the trail would be more hospitable.

Milkweed pod, out of its time, awaiting warmer days
milkweed pod
Ambling toward the car, I was reminded again of why we love it here. (Well, just one reason – there are lots.) Despite the abominable conditions, we were not the only ones combing the beach, seeking silver linings.

A man and his dog, finding – creating – a beautiful moment
a man and his dog

Just yards from the car, a fresh squall of snow blew in over the peninsula, peppering us with stinging ice pellets. But you know how sometimes you smile when you don’t feel like it, but then somehow because of the smiling, you do feel like it? I’m convinced that our pretense yesterday brought about our surprisingly clear skies today. It’s the only thing that makes sense πŸ™‚


20 thoughts on “Pretending It’s Pleasant

  1. Utterly enjoyable post and pictures as always Heather πŸ™‚ It is such a new experience for me to read of the seemingly unending winter coupled with your wait for spring! Never having experienced anything quite like it, I’m enjoying the vicarious wait! Easier for me than you I know! I love what you say about the ‘pretence’ turning into the ‘real deal’…it’s so true that! And I love your photographic eye…the man and his dog are my favourite πŸ˜€ they just seem to belong there you know? In that moment!

    • I suppose your weather is quite a bit more stable over all than here. The VERY distinct seasons is one of the things we love (You’ll see if you hang around!) about northern Michigan, but the winter-spring transition is kind of tough. The ground ends up very squishy (to which I’m sure you can relate with the monsoons and all!), and the colors are drab. And since we spend so.much.time out in the woods in the spring, I find the wait nearly interminable πŸ˜‰
      As always, so glad you enjoy the photography. My husband insists that I’m a writer, but I’m much more a photographer who puts words around her pictures πŸ˜‰

      • I can imagine! Waiting is not something I handle well in any context πŸ˜› And sometimes it feels like life is just one interminable wait – for the heat to relieve the cold and then the rains to relieve the heat and then the cold again to relieve the rainy squelchiness!! And that is just the seasons πŸ˜‰

        You’re great at both me thinks – equally πŸ™‚ although I have to say…I do ADORE your pictures!!

  2. Spring is doing to you what it usually does to us – teasing, tantalizing, Mother Nature displaying the disagreeable side of her personality, flaunting her power. As always, the pictures are wonderful.

    • I do seem to remember you spring beginnings being harsher last year than ours, but then last year we had a very warm winter, followed by a very early spring. I’m not sure Mother Nature is displaying her disagreeable side so much as she’s highlighting *mine* πŸ˜‰
      And – so glad you enjoy the photos!

  3. Silly Heather! You have OPEN WATER on your lake! I say that’s a sign of spring. tee hee. Weather tantrums. Don’t get me going. OK, get me going. IT’S SNOWING AGAIN RIGHT NOWWWWW! We’ll all be crazy-nuts soon. tee hee.

    • Kathy, did you know that the Bay only sometimes freezes over? I think it’s the combination of it being quite deep on average, plus we are also warmer than you *seriously* northern folk up on The Really Big Lake. Even Torch Lake didn’t freeze over this year 😦
      When you say “We’ll all be crazy-nuts soon,” do you mean that everyone else is finally going to join us? πŸ˜‰

          • Yesterday we explored some trails around Traverse that still had snow on them, but the sun was shining pretty brightly, so we didn’t even wear hats! (Wished I had, but I didn’t and survived, so that’s something.) Then today we hiked for three or four miles near the west coast. It was cloudy and cooler than inland, but it felt so good to be on a completely clear trail. Our woods is still under snow cover, as are parts of our yard, but there are also some sprouts popping up. I do think this spring thing is going to happen. Perhaps I’m just going crazy πŸ˜‰

  4. None of us can control the weather…but we can control our “attitude” about said weather. While most people are curled up inside with rabid cabin fever I’d say it’s always better to get outdoors and get some fresh air regardless of the conditions. The only bad weather to be in is the weather your not properly geared up for!

    I have fond memories of the Grand Traverse Peninsula and visiting Chateau Chantal and their amazing “Ice wine” or the Jolly Pumpkin’s artisan ales or visiting the Old Mission Lighthouse. Beautiful area of Michigan (prettiest in the entire lower peninsula IMO) regardless of the weather. Beauty & serenity can be found anywhere and it’s largely a state of mind anyways. lol


    • I agree with your sentiment entirely! I don’t do well when I’m truly stuck inside, and there’s almost always a reason to get out, even if it is to go find a “special” snowflake, raindrop or cloudy landscape.
      I don’t enjoy alcohol at all, but one of my best friends loves Chateau Chantal’s ice wine. I’m a fan of their view, and pretty much all the food at the Jolly Pumpkin (though their view is nothing to complain about either!).
      Cheers, and may you always enjoy beauty and serenity wherever you are!

    • Darn the jet stream and thank goodness for the bay – it’s the only place we’ve seen blue here in a while.
      We’ve had rain, but we’re back to snow today. It’s a lovely snow, but I would rather be push-mowing my yard!

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