I live in the UP and when I was a kid you could dig tunnels in the snow in our yard and that wasn't piled up or shoveled. The past few years a mouse would have a hard time tunneling in the snow we have. All the storms the past few years have been south of us.
First year I moved to Traverse City (2008) we hit a new record for snowfall. The last two years have been average from what I understand. I lived near here growing up and I remember heavier winters more often so I'd have to agree...
Winter of 78-79 we had school 3 days a week for a month (late Jan/early Feb).(Boyne City)
Winter of 80-81, I was able to tray out my 2nd story dorm room(Meiland Hall, NMU Marquette) over to the liquor store.