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We received our first significant snowfall in the Milwaukee area yesterday. It started with heavy, wet snow in the morning, turned to hail/sleet in the afternoon and by the evening hours it was literally raining on the snow that had just fallen. The good thing about this, is despite the fact that basically everything is ice, the roads are pretty easy to clear and it doesn’t take much to melt the snow and ice.

This brought me back to my childhood in the Upper Peninsula and the many snow storms I have dealt with. There are a few distinct differences though. The major one is the fact that people in the Upper Peninsula that have an SUV also have 4 wheel drive. I sat behind a Trailblazer yesterday and while having no problems in my VW Jetta and all-season tires, this person couldn’t manage to keep their ass-end under control. Eventually cars started passing them and I just laughed as this person has a big SUV for what purposes? Maybe compensating for something else?

The first snow storm to me has always been synonymous with the winter season. Along with winter comes the fifth season, hockey season. It is time to lace ‘em with the boys and begin travelling all over the Midwest leaving behind blood, sweat and tears while making memories that last a lifetime. The first snowfall also signifies the anticipation of the ponds beginning to freeze, backyard rinks being filled and guarantees any downtime away from hockey can be spent playing on the outdoor rink.

I remember my dad working afternoon shifts. He would come home after a full day or work and wake me from my sleep to shovel our driveway. It was dryland conditioning he said, it would build my core, back and shoulders he said. Either way I have never turned down a grueling 30 minute shoveling session when you work up a good sweat and can’t feel the snot froze to your face.

I as many others have often complained about the winter, the first snowfall and the winter storms that occur. One thing I never have complained about, however, is the significance of this time of the year. The fact that the 5th season rules them all and the fact that the 5th season, regardless of where you reside in the world, is the best season. Next time you complain about your wheels spinning, the snow you have to shovel, or the extra time it takes you to drive somewhere, remember that although you may not like the current season, the 5th season is in full swing!

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