Warm weather for Wisconsin welcome

When I first moved to Wisconsin, folks both here and back home thought I was completely insane, especially since I had arrived in the dead of winter. After all, why would any rational person want to leave the “warmth” of Arizona and move to a place where they have lots of snow and the temperature dips below zero.

I was thinking about that recently as temperatures rose to the 60s, 70s and then 80s. Keep in mind that it’s March. When I thought about how beautiful the weather was here, and learning that Arizona was expecting a big snowstorm a week ago, all I could say was “Bwa ha ha ha ha!”

A couple taking advantage of the warm weather and walking along the Mountain Bay Trail in Shawano.

The warm weather helped to jolt me out of the semi-hibernation I was in. For about two and a half months, I basically went to work, went to the grocery store and back home again. That was it, because the cold temperatures and dreary winter landscape offered little incentive to drive around, engage in other activities, or otherwise get out of the house.

It also got me out of the habit of many things. I had been working for more than a month to maintain weekly or twice weekly blog entries, but this is the first thing I have written for the blog in a week and a half. It wasn’t that I didn’t have anything to opine about. It was just low priority.

I did plenty of writing, but the thaw made me focus more on completing the novel I was working on. This one was particularly challenging for one main reason—it’s not always easy to get in a Christmas state of mind when Christmas has already passed. Heck if I know, but Christmas seemed to strike my imagination in March, and I was able to finish the first draft of the manuscript last night. Now begins the next grueling part of writing: editing.

The draft cover of my new novel “An Eagle River Christmas.”

The warm weather was also enough to get me to hop in the car and cruise to parts of the county that I haven’t been to. I took a little detour one weekend to see Tigerton and Marion, a pair of small communities with quaint downtown areas ripe for picture taking. Anyone who knows me knows that when I get in picture taking mode, I can take 300 pictures or more in a single outing.

The old Tigerton Village Hall, built in 1905.


Downtown Marion, Wisconsin

I also took the opportunity to re-explore areas where I have already visited. I paid a visit to Gresham, and if you recall, I wrote previously about the quilt squares they had hanging on area businesses. I didn’t appreciate the magnitude of how many squares were in the small downtown area until I got out of the car and walked along. It was like an old place had turned new, and my new Canon Rebel got a workout.

A quilt square on the Whistle Stop Diner in Gresham.

The walk in Gresham also inspired me to see other things, like a building with a curious sign—“Panic Chambers Hotel.” It sounds like a great title for a scary story, which is probably why the creative juices are already flowing for another book.

What lurks within the mysterious Panic Chambers Hotel?

Needless to say, spring has sprung here in Wisconsin much earlier than expected, and it is being enjoyed. I appreciated the chance to rest for the winter, but it’s time to get active again, and it looks like, aside from a brief chilly spell tomorrow, spring is sticking around for a while. I say, bring it on.

Stormy weather in Shawano, although this brought rain instead of the usual snow at this time of year.

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