It bet it was fall when my people, whoever they were, settled in the Midwest.
"Honey, how about right here?" said a strapping young man.
"I love it," answered his starry-eyed bride.
Probably during all the bright colors, just after the mosquitos had gone and before the snow began to fly.
I like winter.
But what are the odds that my predecessors did?
Especially if they were not expecting the unforeseen beauty of snow.
Had they traveled from a distant land with warm boots, hats and mittens in their trunks?
Maybe one morning they woke up to frost on their sleeping bags.
Feeling a sense of urgency, they slapped together a temporary shelter along with the rest of their wagon train friends, plopped a wood stove inside and were snowed in for several months. By mid-June when all the mud finally stopped being tracked into the shelter, a not as starry-eyed wife was like, "Are you f-ing kidding me? We are not going anywhere. I just got this place cleaned up. And look," she points out a little peephole in the wall, "Blue skies."
The mild temperatures and birds singing had everybody whistling as they framed up houses, barns and churches.
"Ain't this wonderful?" they said.
The mosquitoes hatched and began buzzing in all their ears and going up all their noses and getting slapped in all their sweat.
New expressions were born, like, "Son of a bitch," and, "You mother fucker."
Horse tails never stopped their swishing.
This is when some of the weaker said, "I am getting the hell outta here," and galloped away to find a nice piece of balmy, bug free, coastal land.
But others were too stubborn.
"How bad can these flying varmints get?" they said.
Their crops were hardy.
Their sunsets were gorgeous.
There were a few scorcher days that first summer when they dreamt of the fans of the future that would someday spin and blow cool air their way.
But for the time being they could always skinny dip in the lakes and creeks before getting gussied up for the all the rage fiddle playing barn dances.
These were followed by morning sickness and ice cream cravings, which made the topic of moving nonnegotiable.
"My cone is going to drip all over the place and then my reins are gonna get sticky."
It was not until the bright leaves appeared again, turned brown and started rustling in the wind against gray skies that they shivered and remembered.
"That was probably just a hard winter," they said.
They learned it had been mild.
The following spring and mud were accompanied with crying babies.
"I will not ride in that rickety old wagon with a colicky child. Are you insane?"
School bells started ringing.
Half the neighbors were relatives.
Most everybody's friends were cousins.
And another winter goes on the board.
It was the seventh spring for the wife of that strapping young guy in the beginning of this story, when she puts her foot down. She had just received a four-year-old letter from her sister who lives by the sea.
"You just have to get over a few mountains," she writes in perfect quillmanship.
"I want to move next to my sister by the ocean!" she demands.
But her husband has since developed a hint of a beer belly on account of his brother-in-law who opened a saloon right down their street full of manure.
He was not about to travel so far in said shape on a saddle.
He sweet talks her into staying one more year.
"Look!" he says and points to the blue skies. "Isn't it beautiful?"
"But the mosquitoes are coming."
"I heard they are not supposed to be as bad this summer."
They were worse.
And then they had twin baby girls.
She joined the PTA and she and her all gal pals in their freedom fighting bloomers started meeting up afterwards at the saloon.
A few more winters past.
And then it was many.
Her husband's beer belly was now more than just a hint and she was now a member of one of the many wild ass grandma gangs in the area, who would never dream of lacing up a corset again.
Or leaving Wisconsin.