How to Survive a Michigan Winter

by Shannon Roe-Butler


Michigan has been facing one of the worst winters on record. Or at the very least, the worst winter since last winter when it was barely winter. This year we’ve faced temperatures that dove below zero for wind chills down to the negative forties on a few, miserable days. We’ve even met a new climatological feature (the polar vortex known as Winter Storm Hercules), and it’s safe to say it did not give a warm first impression. We have survived without power for days, even weeks. We have broken shovels clean off their handles, skidded and slid around in our cars on inches of snowy mush, careened into poles and other vehicles, and lost our dignity bruising our bottoms falling on icy sidewalks.

Why are we all living here? Because, when the temperature is over forty, it’s easy to forget just how horrid these few, icy-cold months can get. And once it’s over, we all become Bing Crosby again, happily reminiscing about the snow-covered trees, the warmth of a fire, and the slick layer of ice under a light dusting of snow poised to kill.

While we are all eagerly awaiting a scorching hot summer to remember about our beautiful frigid winters, we are still dealing with the icy, snowy, and bone-chilling weather. What do we do about this problem now? I have one solid tip for you, Michiganders: Don’t go outside. It’s so simple, I bet you didn’t even think of it, right? It is a well-known fact that your problems disappear if you don’t face them, so shutter your windows and close those blinds; the time to be a hermit is now.

Before you give up completely, make sure you stock up on the essentials–Better Made Barbeque chips, frozen pizzas, and maybe a few apples to make yourself feel better. Sure, you may have to wage a battle in the frozen-food section akin to that of Helm’s Deep, but it will be worth it when you’re swimming in a years worth of sodium and MSGs (photo below is from Damn Arbor).


The only other thing you’re going to need in your toasty lair of denial is a subscription to watch movies online–Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, or HBO Go. Choose whichever you think will fill you with the most satisfaction at the end of the day. Look at how happy these people are; I bet they haven’t left the house in days (photo below is from Daily Tech).

SRB 3Okay, I hear you. This technique is most likely not a viable solution unless you are a spoiled indoor cat. But to really survive this winter you need more than just a warm jacket, some killer boots, and a titanium snow shovel. You need a sense of humor, because snow like this isn’t kidding around (photo below is from Michigan in Pictures).


Shannon Roe-Butler is a senior English and Professional Writing major at Michigan State University. She has lived in Michigan all of her life, and she is still completely in love with it, even though she has to spend the occasional half-hour scraping snow off of her car.


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