You all, being from here, know just what I mean when I say Yooper Scooper. I do, too — now. There was a time, though, when the word Yooper and the phrase Yooper Scooper had not yet reached my lips nor crossed my mind. Those were the days when I did not yet have to shovel my car; shovel it as in shovel the top of it, not just around it, mind you. But I live in the Northland now, and these things are just the normal noises around here — shoveling your car, Yooper scooping, sauna-ing, drinking hot buttered rum, wearing giant furry hats — it’s all in a day’s work.

Years ago, when I first moved here, way up here from way down there, it was wintertime. Yes, I moved here in the dead of winter and racing a snowstorm all the way with one big fern in the front seat and many small children in the back. It was an exciting beginning to a very long and very snowy season. At first, things got a little rocky. I spent a considerable amount of time hugging my knees and rocking back and forth when no one was looking. That winter my oldest son and his new and wonderfully tough and kind-hearted northern teenager friends shoveled the roof of my house because my neighbors advised it as well as the fact that the bathroom door suddenly wouldn’t shut and strange creaking sounds were emanating from the rafters — another thing that rocked my usually warmer and usually less-snowy world.

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