Storm windows secured. Holes plugged. Cracks caulked. Firewood split. Day after day. Cold mornings. And colder nights. And the long stretch of unforgiving gray is building up over the horizon. So that soon it will be here to stay. And we will add more to the long list that grows longer each day.
Bundle the kids.
Salt the walk.
Move the snow.
And above all, keep warm. So the cold does not drive Northern Michigan’s Winter straight through skin and muscle to the bone. To the place where cold can ache long enough—deep enough—that it can take root and cause irreparable harm.
So it is important. To remain focused. Dedicated. Strong. To forget the comfort of dark drinks in dark bars. Grease-heavy meals. And the familiar electricity of unfamiliar touch. Because as lasting as these things can seem to be when you are so far from them, they are the same things that stop men dead in their tracks. Over and over again.
A man cannot reach great heights when he is afraid of being earth bound.
So, he must carry all the gifts he’s been giving—the kids, the windows, the walk, the snow, the wood—as if they are most precious things he will ever hold. And if he is able to do this—all the while being as strong and patient as he can—he will make it through. Embrace the loneliness of the day after day. The cold mornings. And colder nights. And the long stretch of unforgiving gray that builds over the horizon will be as welcome as sunrise over Lake Huron. Just another moment to be thankful for in a list that’s growing shorter each day.
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