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Mark Twain didn't say it, but ...

May 8, 2014 - Steve Murch
Mark Twain is wrongly attributed for saying “The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco.” As internal-chuckle-worthy as it might be, we do understand what the saying means, and while not true, highlights how cold a summer might be.

For those of us along the Lake Huron shoreline in the northeast part of the state, I have a feeling we could be uttering that statement this year and inserting Alpena instead of San Francisco. Take today (May 8) for instance, while the rest of the Lower Peninsula is in the 70s, we are 20 degrees cooler. You don't have to venture too far inland to experience a difference, and the further inland you go the warmer it gets.

It's all part of the give and take of living on Lake Huron. Only it seems like we give more than we get to take this year.

I moved to Alpena during May all those years ago, and that first summer was very similar to this year. While the winter wasn't as cold as this year, it was packed with snow. Living in the snow belt in Mancelona, we had four straight weeks where we started getting snow on Thursday night and it progressed into a full-blown snowstorm at some point on Friday and continued until Sunday morning — completely unrelenting snow.

When the spring came, and I moved to Alpena, it was unseasonably cool. Nearly every day in June started out with fog that, on most days, lasted late into the morning. I've never been to London, but the jokes about it feeling like London were plentiful that year.

Some people like to complain about the weather in a manner that leaves no doubt they think someone does it intentionally. In 1982 I got the impression that some people were ready to hunt down the person in charge of controlling the weather. Now that would have been a comical, and futile, effort.

Once July hit, though, it was like someone turned on the heat gun and by the middle of the month nobody remembered how cool June was.

I hope it doesn't come down to that this year. Forecasters are saying it will be a cooler summer, but after the winter we had I certainly hope they are wrong. I'm like everybody else, ready to quit dressing for four seasons of weather in one day. While the winter coat has been put away, carrying extra clothes hasn't stopped for the spring.

Come on Mother Nature, don't be a tease and keep our corner of the state in the cold. I need to put away more warm-weather clothes.

 
 

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