Ten signs it's summertime in Michigan

Jun 20, 2012

Detroit Free Press columnist Ron Dzwonkowski offers 10 ways we can tell another Michigan summer is upon us.

Here's the list:

1. Every third vehicle is pulling a boat and a third of the trailers have at least one tail light out.

2. People with brown lawns hold a calendar as they look at their house number and try to figure out if they are odd or even for watering. They’re odd.

3. The only northbound traffic driving the speed limit has out-of-state plates. All the Michigan drivers are doing 80 m.p.h. bumper to bumper in the passing lane. With boats.

4. Every hundred miles on a major highway, you will see at least one family sitting on the grass at the side of the road, their vacation gear heaped on the shoulder as Dad tries to find the jack and wrestles with the spare tire. It will never all fit back in the car and an occasional child will be left behind in favor of the cooler. “We’ll be back for ya …”

5. Speaking of spare tires, men who should not wear tank tops will.

6. Orange barrels stretching as far as the eye can see.

7. Somebody at a funeral home wondering if it's a “slow – no wake” zone.

8. A surprised parent asking “when did you get that tattoo?”

9. The Michigan quick-step — an impromptu dance that erupts when bare feet hit hot pavement.

10. Not a lot of complaining about the heat because we know, in “pure Michigan” it won’t last.