What I’ve Learned About Wisconsin

Wisconsin was always one of those states I knew about, but never really thought about. It was “somewhere up there near the big lakes.” But then I met Jeannie, and found that Wisconsin was actually more or less interesting. Now I’ve spent so much time in “The Badger State” – and since I’m working here for several weeks – I thought I’d write about some of the things I’ve learned.


You know that “association game”? The one where someone says a word and you’re supposed to say the first thing that comes to mind? Well, before I knew Wisconsin my associations would have looked something like this:

Cheese, Packers, Beer

Now that I have family here, I obviously associate Wisconsin mostly with them. But my generic list has changed in other ways, too. Now it would look something like this:

Hockey, Hunting, Cold, More Hockey, More Hunting, Cheese, More Hockey, Packers, Beer

The Cold

  • At 15 °F, a “chewy” granola bar… isn’t.
  • At -20 °F, if you toss hot water in the air it will asplode…. supposedly.
  • My Southern California friends might be amused to learn that automatic car washes here are enclosed and heated. Ever think about that?
  • You haven’t really experienced iced coffee until you’ve left your cup o’ joe in the car overnight.

It’s Friendly!

Southern hospitality gets all the attention. But from my experience it can’t even compete with the northern Midwest. The people here are the kind you’d love to have as a neighbor.

The Accent

That stereotypical half-Canadian, half-Midwestern, half Scandinavian accent? Yeah, that’s what people here really sound like. It’s the hardest American accent for me to imitate, but it’s surprisingly easy to slip into it after spending a little time here. It’s all about the “oo” sound. But there’s no “eh?” here. That’s further north and west. Don’t you know. (Just kidding. That’s further north and west too.)

So there you have it. Some of the things I’ve learned about Wisconsin.