Warming up to cold embrace of winter

Published 10:17 am Thursday, January 21, 2016

As a born-and-bred southerner, I am still coming to terms with these confusing feelings, but I have come to the startling realization that winter doesn’t have to give you the blues if you embrace it for all the magical opportunities it provides.

Make no mistake, it is a cold embrace, but that is OK.

There is something uplifting, very pure and joyful about seeing a fresh blanket of snow. It feels almost cleansing in a way.

As a parent of two young daughters, very few things in life are as rewarding as hearing your children laugh hysterically as the sled barrels down a hill or as the snowball fight escalates into a full-blown war.

Even many of the snowbirds sitting on beaches in Florida or braving the dry heat of the Arizona desert will tell you they sometimes miss the natural beauty of a good winter snowfall.

By embracing winter, as most of our communities here in southwest Michigan do, we are fully able to understand the true meaning of having four seasons.

This weekend’s Hunter Ice Festival in Niles will really kick off the event season. With more ice sculptures than ever before, we expect downtown to really come to life. Ice fights, interactive carvings for children and specials by downtown businesses are just some of the highlights of the weekend.

Next up is Buchanan’s Thrill on the Hill, set for Jan. 29-30. This annual event really helps showcase some of the character of this small community that is growing as a tourist destination with a variety of restaurants and other attractions. Then it is Dowagiac’s Ice Time Festival, slated for Saturday, Feb. 6, an event that showcases everything the Grand Old City has to offer visitors and residents alike.

And so it goes across southwest Michigan communities as most have something unique to celebrate and help residents fight the blahs.

So don’t stay bundled up in the house all winter. Get out and enjoy what makes the season special here in Michiana.


Michael Caldwell is the publisher of Leader Publications LLC. He can be reached at (269) 687-7700 or by email at mike.caldwell@leaderpub.com.