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Showing posts with label Daily Blog. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Daily Blog. Show all posts

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Winter in Michigan (Polar Vortex, Ice Storm, Freezing Rain)


“In winter, the stars seem to have rekindled their fires, the moon achieves a fuller triumph, and the heavens wear a look of a more exalted simplicity.”

As someone who came from a tropical country, nothing has prepared me for this winter experience. For more than 30 years, I have never experienced snow. The coldest temperature that I probably had was 70F in an air-conditioned room. In normal days, we have about 80-90 degrees. This is just my third winter and this is by far the most extreme in terms of the freezing temperature, destruction, and amount of snow.  


White Lake is one of the tourist attractions in our area and people fish at the other side during winter.

Winter Wonderland in Michigan.

I love snow and I have always been spellbound by the surrounding panorama when huge crystal flakes fall. They are soft, lush and cold to the touch. Where there was once pallid, dead grassland, scenes are transformed with the trees covered with decadent ivory jewels and the ground is coated in a hefty blanket of solid white.        

The snow covered lake at Whitehall which glistens like diamonds when the sun shines.

Enjoying the scenery with my husband.


It never failed to amazed me when picturesque sceneries are abundant as the sun shines and the frosty ground glitters like diamonds. The ineffable scent drifted through the air unmistakably speaking of the crisp bluster and ice.

However, the recent polar vortex has proven that beauty could be deceiving. The colossal destruction was unimaginable as the coldest temperature in decades blanketed the state.

Grand River Hotel during the Polar Vortex effect.

Grand River Hotel during the Polar Vortex effect.

Grand River Hotel during the Polar Vortex.

Grand River Hotel during the Polar Vortex.


My husband’s dad was on schedule to have a surgery at the time that the coldest temperature was felt across the nation. We were at the road on the way to the hospital around 4:00 a.m. and the zero-visibility, below freezing temperature, exacerbated by strong winds greeted us. We arrived at the hospital safely and spent hours of watching the city blanketed by the heavy snow.  The drive to the hotel that night after his dad’s surgery continued to be a challenge when we grappled with slippery roads and plunging temperature. My fingers and toes were numb, cold nips at my nose, and my eyes hurt just in a short walk going to the lobby.

The following day, temperature continued to drop and the road on the way home was zero visibility. There were many car accidents and classes and businesses were suspended.

Grand River Hotel during the Polar Vortex.

Grand River Hotel at Grand Rapids where we stayed over night after my father-in-law's surgery.

Grand River Hotel at Grand Rapids during the Polar Vortex.

Grand River Hotel at Grand Rapids during the Polar Vortex.
Grand River Hotel at Grand Rapids during the Polar Vortex.



Grand River Hotel at Grand Rapids during the Polar Vortex.
Grand River Hotel at Grand Rapids during the Polar Vortex.
Grand River Hotel at Grand Rapids during the Polar Vortex.

Grand River Hotel at Grand Rapids during the Polar Vortex.

Grand River Hotel at Grand Rapids during the Polar Vortex.

The polar vortex was not the worst part of this winter, the cold taste (literally) finally hit us during the ice storm. Snow is beautiful and soft to the touch but ice is dangerous and could be fatal especially when you lose power. The power lines that veer down between poles become dense as they were laden with the heaviness of the ice formation. Before long, massive power outages gripped different places in Michigan. We were ones of those who lost the power when two transformers in our area gave in. And the battle to keep the house warm ensued.



Bridge over looking the Lake Michigan at Whitehall.

Ice formation during the ice storm.


Glass window of the hospital.

For some, staying in the hotel during a power outage is a more viable decision. But, it’s more complicated when you are scared of water pipes bursting and little dogs freezing. Thankfully, we have gas stove and the water heater is also run by gas. We had our power back on after almost three days of struggling to survive.

Ice formation during the ice storm.

Ice formation during the the ice storm.
The experience was unforgettable. I have always thought of heavy snow fall as being transported into the winter wonderland and fun at sledding. Winter is absolutely beautiful BUT it can also be destructive.


Sledding at Double JJ. We don't let the snow stop us from having fun.

Sledding at Double JJ.

One of those days we woke up and the car is covered with several inches of snow.

Shoveling is a must if you don't want to be buried under these thick snow.

“What, I sometimes wonder, would it be like if I lived in a country where winter is a matter of a few chilly days and a few weeks' rain; where the sun is never far away, and the flowers bloom all year long?”

 -Anna Neagle-

Thursday, January 03, 2019

Today, I Failed


The Phoenix must burn to emerge.” – Janet Fitch

The news was disheartening and perhaps, inevitable. Somehow, I had that notion of failure even before it came crashing on me. I worked so hard. Countless hours, in fact. Day and night, I worked laboriously unmindful of rewards. All that I wanted was to get a glimpse of success. Yet, none of it matters anymore. I failed.  

The news however, only created that fire burning inside me to work even harder convincing myself that failure is not an indication of permanence. If my way did not work, that means I need to find another one that would work. Life is a series of disappointments, pains and hindrances. But, life is also a string of hope and success.


A friend once told me that once we hit rock bottom, there is no way but up. When I first heard the news, I felt worthless leveraging my skills that amounted to nothing. It was gut-sinking and terrifying but I had no choice but to face the truth- starting from nothing.

In hindsight, failure catapulted me into realization that the world is not so rosy but I can parlay the pain info future gains. Instead of sulking and trying to lick my wounds, I need to work even harder to maximize the probability of success. I failed but it does not mean the end. Failure in essence just made me internalize from the deepest recesses of my soul to examine the raw pain and find ways not to get on downward spiral which could harm myself more.

I failed. I understand that I am in pain. I acknowledge my vulnerability. But, I take the challenge to succeed by failing.

I got this.

“When you take risks, you learn that there will be times when you succeed and there will be times when you fail, and both are equally important.” –Ellen DeGeneres-




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