Monday, April 27, 2009

Temperature tantrum

It was out of the frying pan and into the refrigerator.

I pointed the Impala toward northwest Michigan on Friday afternoon in anticipation of a glorious springtime fling of sunshine, moderate temperatures, blue skies and fresh water. After all, the temperature downstate was a lovely 80 degrees and even the overworked, underpaid workers in the local junk food junction were smiling and offering the obligatory "have a good one" with the unbridled enthusiasm of an IT wonk flying on a six-pack of Mountain Dew.

I wheeled up the Interstate and the state two-lane, watching the outside temperature gage on my car creep up like a wooly caterpillar on a birch tree. The only care I had rolling up and down the hills was counting lazy cows, beef jerky stands and uncovered dump trucks. I just thought about great lakes, a relaxing weekend and fermented French red grapes in a Riedel glass.

But suddenly just south of Charlevoix, I glanced down to see the temperature gage had freaked was 54 degrees! And it continued south with more northern coolness. Turns out it was giving me an omen about Saturday and Sunday. The sun gave way to dark, rolling clouds and cold, driving rain. The lesson learned: Don't be in denial about what you can find on And, more important, make the most of whatever opportunity gets placed in front of you. Despite everything, the weekend got filled with new discoveries and new wonders that would never have been found under a shining sun.

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