Clare County Review & Marion Press Columns

Postcard from the Pines: It’s Snow Joke

Main Street March 26, 1923 50-14

Everyday life seems to have slowed to a crawl during this odd winter in Marion, Michigan. Winter is what it is, from one to the next. But this one is unusual, so far, for its lack of being wintry and the long string of gray days. It seems that winter in these parts is holding its breath. We haven’t seen a heavy snowfall yet and that includes the blizzard that wasn’t.
We’ve been giving some thought to winter weather, or the lack of it, these days. We’ve had time during this long run of warm or cold, rain or snow, always gray, perpetually 4pm, so-called wintertime days. We’ve concluded that the only thing missing from this almost real Groundhog Day experience is Bill Murray and the clock radio going off each morning…or does it?
We’ve done a lot of different things to tell one day from the other. We’ve even gone underground and spent numerous days (not in a row) making sense out of a basement long in need of sense. The Gardener has resorted to garage cleaning and tree trimming. I plunged into my Ancestry files and have been rewarded by knocking a hole in a long standing brick wall. One down, numerous to go.
Perhaps the biggest diversion we’ve had yet during this uneventful winter is our annual and highly competitive game of Find the Tax Receipts. The object of this yearly tournament is to locate all of the various items needed to complete our taxes. This becomes a long and involved game, beginning at the first of the year when incoming ‘game pieces’ are placed in a clearly marked folder. The folder is placed in a drawer in the desk. Add more as they occur. In theory it is simple.
We realize we have gone astray at the end of the year. Some necessary forms never seem to make it to the folder. In fact, we are convinced that they have fled the drawer and gone into hiding, abetted by other items we cannot locate. As the game deepens, each of us is sure the other has been the slacker. Cries of “You should have put it away” are sometimes heard from the players. This is a contentious game and as tax time approaches, can escalate to a frenzied, calling scavenger hunt. The trail leads us through drawers, cupboards and closets. We’ve even scavenged in ridiculous places, hoping for an Ah-ha! moment.
This year we have a couple of fugitives, a plain, bland, innocuous manila folder and a white, legal size envelope. They could be hiding in plain sight with others in any of several places. We always begin with the best of intentions and a place for everything. Somewhere along the way we go awry, hence the tax document scavenger hunt. We are far better at the misplacing portion of the game than we are at the scavenging. Unfortunately, this game, like Monopoly, can take days to finish.
We wish you good luck in your tax form scavenger hunt. Just about everyone plays the game. As I finish this, I note that snow is falling a good clip; more-so than it has in weeks. I hope Mom Nature hasn’t decided to wake up Old Man Winter and pick a fight. In the meantime, it’s my turn to scavenge.
The photo this week was taken one hundred years ago on March 26, 1923, Main Street, Marion, Michigan. There was no shortage of white stuff that year.

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