“Hamlet: The air bites shrewdly; it is very cold. It is a nipping and an eager air.”

— Wm. Shakespeare

It’s obvious England’s greatest playwright didn’t pen those lines under anything even resembling recent conditions in west-central Michigan. At least not over the past few days. I’ve said it before, I suppose I’ll say it again — I’m getting tired of winter. There was a momentary hint of spring-esque weather last week, then ... Here we go again. We’ve graduated well past the “nipping and eager air” stage and I can easily understand why so many of our local retirees head south at the onset of winter weather. I’ve decided I don’t much appreciate the weather we’ve been having. Even with the occasional spring-like days, enough is now enough. It’s still a wee bit too cold outside to be enjoyed, and even when it’s raining there’s still a spitting of snow — enough to be annoying. So here’s the deal ... I’m ready to take an editorial stand against the weather, and I fully expect results. Truth be known, if recent weather wasn’t so much of a tease, I’d probably wax poetic like the Bard and others. The great, classical writers of the Victorian age loved winter’s gray grimness since it matched the brooding quality of that period. Of course, they never had to fear doughnuts, (mine or the guy in front of me), while driving up and down U.S. 10 in my early morning commute after a surprise dusting of sloppy snow and freezing rain. They sat by small gas fires pondering the Greater Meaning of it all.

“Jovial wind of winter

Turn us out to play!”

— Charles Kingsley

Oh ... come on ... What jovial wind? What play? Rather it’s a biting, damp wind keeping us stuck in house or office all day long. Who in their right mind is out frittering through fields and romping over hill and dale in this continuously chilling weather? In recent telephone conversations with friends and family in the Holy Land, I learned that it’s been a bit nippy over there too. Some of my erstwhile colleagues have actually had to switch from open sandals to regular shoes. My ex-publisher and rugby buddy complained about actually having to wear a jacket to work. They think it must be exciting still having snow on the ground and ice on the lakes. Exciting? That’s not quite the word I would have chosen. I remember well the winters of my youth in Michigan. Still, nostalgic memories of sledding and winter hayrides bundled under piles of warm straw with early girlfriends does little to warm the blood of this apparently aging editor. Yes! I will take a stand for the many cold, shivering denizens of Osceola and Lake counties. We have had enough, and will not stand for anymore. We don’t mind the snow and slush. Indeed, we except it as our lot in life having chosen to live in this part of the world. But it is simply too much, too long. We think it’s time to review our contract. People keep promising me things will warm up. “Spring is right around the corner,” they say. I’m a pretty believing guy by nature. I’m afraid, however, that if the weather doesn’t start improving soon ... substantially ... I’ll have to consider that people around here are pulling my leg. And quite frankly, I’m getting tired of it. It’s still just too damp and cold outside, and I hope the powers that be understand I am willing to bring all the influence I have to bare in remedying the problem. I believe writers must take a stand. I am doing so. I demand a thaw — the real deal. I demand that temperatures start an upward climb to the region of reasonability. Oh well ...