Merry Christmas, Midlife Moments Readers from snowy, cold Grand Rapids! Thank you for reading and hanging in there with me this year. For me, it has been a year of ups and downs and all arounds. I’m grateful to have landed where I have, and I’m grateful to be bundling up for Christmas rather than sweating.
Baton Rouge weather forecast….
I’m in my “Christmas on my own” mode this year. But I have to say people up here are so darn nice that I can hardly believe it. I have an invitation tonight to spend Christmas Eve with a friend and her husband, and I have an open invite tomorrow with another friend if I am not out and about on the trails which is how I think I’m going to spend my holiday, weather permitting. Thursday night I was able to get two short visits with two old friends that I haven’t seen in 10 or more years. It was fun to catch up and see them again.
I decided to come to Grand Rapids for a Meetup.com hike this morning so I can meet some like-minded folks, and I’m sitting cozy in a Starbucks all decorated for Christmas. Christmas music is playing, and I feel in the holiday spirit. With the absence of a party to attend, I made a trip to the outlet malls yesterday and scored my own Christmas loot of the fashion sort. I’m still building my winter work wardrobe, and I enjoyed getting some great deals on Ralph Lauren, Loft and Calvin Klein items. I think I’m ready for the long haul now. I just have to keep being active so they don’t get too small!
On a lark, I decided to sign up for Match.com a couple of months after getting here, and I’m meeting some very nice men. Nobody special yet, and it takes time for me trust somebody I meet on the internet, but it seems that Michigan men like me more than the Louisiana ones did. I was wondering this morning if maybe I’m in an area now that has more men than women. That could be a factor, too. Match hasn’t been very successful for me for dating, but it’s been a great place to make friends with common interests. I don’t know what I’m looking for in the dating arena anyway. I’m sort of busy at the moment.
So the hike this morning is in a park near Grand Rapids called Provin Park. There are 17 people signed up, and it’s a dog-friendly hike. It’s not too cold today by Michigan standards, so I’m looking forward to a nice morning in the woods meeting some new people. I thought that the outdoor groups would pack it up and get started again next spring, but that was obviously a southern notion. They are just as busy – if not more – for the next few months. If you can’t hike, you snowshoe or cross-country ski. Kayaking is obviously out because you’d have to have skate blades on it, but people get out and ice fish and ice skate instead.
There was rain forecast for last night, but I walked out of the hotel to go to a meeting, and it was snowing like crazy. The parking lot of the meeting place was on the downside of a big hill, and I couldn’t get slowed enough to turn. I didn’t get stuck or anything but I sort of slid onto a snowbank on the side of the driveway. I just backed up and was able to get right in, and I jokingly told people I wasn’t drunk, I was just driving Southern. When I tried to drive home, I couldn’t make it up the hill, so I had to take a side road midway up to work around the icy incline. But I got home safely even though there were many cars on the side of the interstate stuck in snow and ice.
It’s kind of funny driving in this. People are all over the roads and in the ditches when it snows. It seems they are not much better than Southerners at driving in it. But there are always loads of people providing assistance. It must be a normal thing to either get stuck in the snow or help people out. My Dad, of course, is obsessed with the reports of those huge pile-ups on the interstate, and I get a report every day of how many cars have been involved in snow pile-ups on Northern interstates. I guess it gives him something tangible to worry about. The reality is that I’m more likely to end up in a snowbank than a pile-up, but I take it slow. Billboards urge drivers to take it slow in snow and ice, but obviously some don’t. I’m told that’s who I really need to worry about – the other guy.
We got snow a plenty in Grand Rapids, so it’s beautiful out this morning. I’m looking forward to walking around in it, and I know Ashok can’t wait! I hope you all have a Happy Christmas Eve doing whatever is in your hearts. It is truly a special holiday, and it only comes once a year.