“Hell” is the name of a town in Michigan and about this time every year a photograph of the town’s sign coated with ice begins to make its way around social media sites with the funny line: “Hell has frozen over.”
Being from the great state of Michigan myself, I was familiar with Hell before Facebook — it’s just a half an hour or so Northwest of Ann Arbor. Although if you want to get technical, it’s a community and not an actual town. “Hell freezing over” isn’t a rarity up there, Michigan is cold.
Living in South Carolina for the past eight or so years, I’ve made my peace with the mild winters. Oddly enough, my husband, John, who has never lived up North, has not.
Every year, without fail, as soon as the five day forecast calls for even the slightest chance of snow, John’s eyes light up like a little kid’s watching the morning news to see if school would be canceled.
Finally, for the first time this year, the weather report called for a chance of snow. And John began blowing up my phone while I was at work.
Now, I’ve been here long enough to know that a “chance of snow” usually means it’s going to be cold and it’s going to rain. And while I would welcome a good snowfall here in Pickens County, I’ve been burned to many times to give the weatherman’s words any serious credence.
Knowing I had serious doubts as to whether any snowflakes would be seen here locally, John suggested an alternative: let’s pack up the kids and drive up into the mountains.
It occurred to me that my friends and family back up North would certainly laugh at me for driving up into North Carolina with the express purpose of going to see snow. But I get it, snow just doesn’t happen down here with enough regularity to become a nuisance.
Five years ago, we got just over a foot of snow here in Easley. I remember John waking me up at some ungodly hour excitedly pointing out the window and declaring he was going to go walk around downtown to check everything out.
I rolled over and went back to sleep.
Later in the day I bundled up and made snow angels in the front yard before taking photos of John holding a sign that read “911” as he pretended to signal a chopper for help. We’re dorks.
Lately I’ve been trying more and more to talk John into moving back up to Michigan. I grew up there, my family is there. For me, Michigan will always be “home.”
But I wonder if we did, how long it would take him to get used to it snowing all winter long. How long before the blankets of white become less of a wonder and more of a chore because the driveway has to plowed and the car dug out every morning before work?
How many times would he shovel and salt the sidewalk before paying some neighbor kid to do it?
How many times would he be late for work because he forgot that the car needs to warm up for at least a half an hour?
For now, I’ll be the good wife and play along. If he wants to drive into the mountains to go drive around in the snow, I’m game. As far as the great Michigan move? I think I’ve got a shot at convincing him: after all, stranger things have happened.
Hell has already frozen over.
Kasie Strickland is a staff writer for The Easley Progress, The Pickens Sentinel and Powdersville Post and can be reached at [email protected] Views expressed in this column are those of the writer only and do not represent the newspaper’s opinion.