December 24, 2022 —On a blizzardy Christmas Eve, we were cozied in with Steph’s family high on windblown Miller Hill. The snow was coming down for hours and hours and the winds had picked up and big drifts were everywhere. While eight of us ate dinner, near the exposed lake side of the house, there were times it felt like someone was knocking against the eaves. It was giant gusts of wind.
“The north wind is going to carry Santa to our house faster than a supersonic jet,” was said for the benefit of the one young believer at the table. And soon the clang of dishes, music, the soft tearing of paper and the crackling fire was all we were hearing. At 11 pm, Hawthorn, Sonny and I headed home on desolate roads while the rest of the family finished a movie. My stoic teenager was talkative so I drove slow to make this conversation last.
As we talked, we watched gusts of wind sweep up snow off the trees and ground and spin it into swirling white ghosts in our headlights. Drifts squeezed us into one lane. I turned down Basch Road but immediately was stopped by a three foot drift. We were able to go down Lake Michigan Road and pushed through waves of drifts to peek at Lake Michigan. We looked directly into the dark and fierce northwind.
We were silent now. The winds made a soft rhythmic rumble against the car. It felt adventurous to be out–- Hawthorn, Sonny and I staring out into the eye of the Christmas Blizzard 2022.