By Brian Freitag
TASPL Director

While winters are no joke this far north, the cold months summon an ethereal, icy beauty to the Upper Peninsula and the Great Lakes. When chilly weather sets in, Yoopers gear up for outdoor activities like ice fishing, skiing, and snowshoeing. Also, the snowy season is when that delightful Midwestern ideal of Germutlichkeit, roughly translated from German as “cozy camaraderie,” finds its fullest expression.

Germutlichkeit may be hard to define, but you know it when you feel it. It’s that warmth in the heart when you’re staring out the window at a blizzard while sitting in a snug bar and grill or local restaurant drinking and laughing with friends. I think if you are a native who wouldn’t live anywhere else but the U.P. for anything; the mindset is on embracing rather than hibernating over winter.

Here are some literary nuggets that may give you cause for thought about winter:
“How many lessons of faith and beauty we should lose, if there were no winter.” — Thomas Wentworth-Higginson
“In the depth of Winter, I finally learned that there was in me an invincible summer.” — Albert Camus
“Winter is not a season, it’s a celebration.” — Anamika Mishra
“The hard soil and four months of snow make the inhabitants of the northern temperate zone wiser and abler.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson
“Winter is a season of recovery and preparation.” — Paul Theroux
“Winter forms our character and brings out our best.” —Tom Allen
“There is something beautiful about walking on snow that nobody else has walked on.” — Carol Rifka Brunt
“I like the cold weather. It means you get work done.” — Noam Chomsky

TASPL is always looking for ways to help our patrons weather the grey months with a smile. In January we have displays relative to self-help (building a healthier you and living a rewarding, purpose-driven life), Dr. Martin Luther King (looking ahead to the holiday on January 15), and crafts and hobbies that you might consider taking up as a new interest in the new year.

For new library activities this month at the library we have Geek Night Resurrected January 25 from 4:30 – 6:30 p.m. with board games, pizza and more for ages 11 and up.

Also, TASPL will be hosting a Will Workshop with Attorney Erica Payne on Saturday January 27 from 1 to 2 p.m. Participants will discuss legal aspects of a will, ask questions, and complete a will at this workshop. This workshop is limited to 14 participants. Interested patrons please RSVP at using the Subject line: TASPL Library Newberry, Michigan will workshop.

Finally, I would like to say congratulations to Sailor Raymond, TAS student, writer extraordinaire, and TASPL’s student nomination for U.P. Youth Poet Laureate of Luce County; who was just awarded the Luce County position. Congratulations as well to TASPL’s own Peter Wurdock, librarian, local author and poet just awarded the U.P Adult Poet Laureate for Luce County. Watch for a poetry reading event this spring at the library for celebrating and sharing some of Sailor and Peter’s work.