OK Snowbirds – come home and be counted!

Posted on March 12, 2010


Here’s the deal.  It’s time for the Big Count and a whole bunch of you are down in Florida and Arizona and Alabama for heaven’s sake.  If Census Day were July 4 instead of April 1, Michigan might be recorded as the most populous state in the Union, but it’s not and we’re not and that’s a problem.  Political representation is established on the basis of population.  Federal programs are based on population.  People, we need all the help we can get up here.  It’s safe to come home now. 

I already explained to you that the ice is off Torch Lake.  The March Melt continues on Grand Traverse Bay, too: 

Pretty soon I’ll be able to sit on Big Boulder at dawn and watch the eagle.  OK, I probably won’t do that very often on account of I am a lazy person but I’ll do it at least a few times, and the times will be here within the week

Maybe I will take a fit and do some Interior Decorating.  Probably not, but you never know.  If I were to do it, I think I’d use these colors in the main living space.  I’ve always admired the shades of warm in the spring willow branches.  They go well with beach sand, which is an important consideration at my house. 

So what are you waiting for?  Pack up and come home.  We need you to take the Census form off your doorknob or out of your mailbox and fill it out properly, which is to say here, where your heart is.  C’mon, you know it’s true.  Besides, your body is here too more often than it’s there, so put a nice polite zero on the form hanging on your doorknob where you’re temporarily visiting, write “just visiting” across it, and pop it in the mail.  Then come home and put yourself proudly where you belong: in Michigan.  We miss you, the fun’s about to begin, and we need you to stand up and be counted.  You can read a lot more about it here (“Are northern states being cheated?”) and here (“Snowbirds urged to count themselves”) or you can just take my word for it.  Oh, wait, I just found an Official Census Memorandum about it.  Looky here, straight from David W. Sheppard his ownself: 

If you receive a form at your usual residence where you spend most of your time during the year:

  • Complete the entire census form you receive at that address and mail it back.
  • This is where you will be counted in the 2010 Census.
  • If you are NOT at your usual residence at the time of the census, as soon as you return to your usual residence you should complete the entire census form and mail it back.

If you receive a form at the other place. where you do NOT spend most of your time during the year: 

  • Enter ‘0’ in Question 1 (household count question) on that census form.
  • Do not answer any other questions, and then mail it back.

This is not a new development. Back in the lumbering era, lumberjacks and millworkers were often recorded in two places—the camp or mill where they were working during the drive, and at their own homesteads.  It makes an interesting little research problem.  Tracking down my Civil War vets is absorbing.  Come to think of it, I’ll bet their wives sometimes found it a bit of a challenge, too, but I digress.  It’s what I do.