Saturday, we turn the page to another month as March makes its appearance at last. February might technically be the shortest month, but weather-weary Upper Peninsula residents no doubt feel as though the month had 56 days, not 28.
That's because of the bitter, brutal cold that gripped the area for most of February, continuing a pattern that made January's end a welcome development as well. When we ended the record streak of 75 days when the temperature did not break the 32-degree barrier, joyful noises were made in many parts of our area.
As we head into March, whether it arrives like a lamb or lion, we are grateful because we are one step closer to winter's end.
Outdoors enthusiasts who love winter pursuits would even have to agree this hurt-your-face frigid weather really isn't conducive to enjoying Mother Nature's beauty. When wind chill warnings are posted, warning of minus 40 as a potential "feels like" temperature, the best place for anyone to be is inside, pets included.
Which brings us to something else: an overdue thank you to those who labor out of doors regardless of conditions including postal workers, firefighters, police officers, emergency personnel and newspaper carriers.
A special "shout out" must be given to the crews working to thaw out frozen water and sewer lines in communities throughout our area. Long hours and biting cold conditions have not kept these folks from doing their best to help alleviate these problems plaguing too many area residents.
We denizens of the U.P. take great pride in our relentless optimism and our determination to get through whatever challenges life tosses our way. We are survivors.
But deadly cold can even bring the hardiest Yooper down. Thus, we welcome March's arrival and hope the weather warms up sufficiently for those who love to ski, snowshoe and snowmobile to get out to enjoy the plentiful snow cover for a few weeks.
We're holding out hope what follows is a nice warm spring to then give way to a long, glorious summer, steamy enough to get folks to complain about the heat.