It’s like a gigantic snow globe out there in slow motion right now. Weightless snowflakes floating around in the air. I’m not ready for winter.
I’ve never hated the Chicago winters. I have wonderful memories of being young, taking trips into the city, then a bit older and living in the city, the streets wet with melted snow, the Christmas lights strewn up on trees twinkling against the backdrop of night skies and Michigan Avenue window displays. The city during the holidays is magical; once in a while you can catch yourself driving under an overpass as the Christmas train goes by overhead. It’s a fun sight to see.
But yesterday as I walked out of my building hugging myself for warmth in my winter coat, fluffy white scarf and gloves, I passed 2 of my neighbors equally bundled up, all of us groaning and moaning about how winter was here, our breath leaving a cloud behind us in the freezing air as we talked. My car was cold, and it took half of my trip to daycare to finally blast hot air through the vents to thaw me. And I began thinking about something that I’ve never considered.
I’ve spent 37 winters in the Midwest. And out of all 37, this was the first time I thought, I really don’t like winter anymore.
I thought about what it would be like to live somewhere warmer in the winter. Not tropical per se, just warmer than chill-you-to-the-bone cold. But to get there, I’d have to go south or west. With my job, I could technically live anywhere in the world and keep my job. Not many people can say that. I could live somewhere where I could buy a decent house for $100k, the same house that would cost me well over $300k here. But I don’t know anyone south, and directly south I’d be looking at tornado alley or Texas. Nope. I could hike it to California where I know plenty of people including my sister, but the cost of living would be worse, pretty much defeating the purpose. North is just a no. Sorry, Wisconsin. And East could bring me closer to my sister Julie and closer to where I went to college, but the weather is exactly the same.
At the end of the day, all thoughts and daydreams about making a change, moving somewhere else for a change of scenery or climate… it couldn’t really happen anyway unless Summer turned 18 overnight or if Scott was willing to move. And I’m going to go out on a limb and guess what his answer to that would be. So I have to embrace it. I have to.
So to you Chicago winter, please don’t be too mean to us this year. I’ll be getting the shrink-wrap for the windows this weekend to keep you out of my home because I can already feel you creeping in. I’ll be putting up the Christmas tree the day after Thanksgiving and covering my place with as many twinkling lights as I have outlets and tape for. And I will try to enjoy you as I always have. Promise. But seriously, if you pull that same -28° wind chill nonsense you pulled last year, I will die a little.
Don’t live with that guilt on your shoulders, fucker.
I mean friend.
No I don’t.