Pause Game

The weather has hit the pause button on getting back to normal after the holidays, but we carry on in the house. We make dinner. Well, Jim does.

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Lilly has no school today, which is amazing. Her school, which is on the U of I campus, rarely closes. The air temperature is in the low single digits and will fall further this afternoon, but the real problem, and I can see it out my window (I’m sitting in that window you see above), is the wind. And the wind is far, far worse in rural areas just outside town. I’m glad they canceled. I see nothing wrong with it, because people’s response to extremely cold weather is relative, and a lot of people who live here are not of Midwestern stock. And even for those who are – why suffer?

I lived in Minnesota from 1981-1991. The first winter we lived there – and we had come from FLORIDA, OK – was impressive even by their standards. I think there was an ice storm shortly after Halloween, and then it was kind of the usual wintry weather through Christmas (sledding! Snowballs! Tromping around!), and then January came. It was cold early in the month, and then we received 37″ of snow in 3 days in suburban Minneapolis, and then the cold arrived again. I remember going outside in late January just to see what -70 windchill (measured the old way) felt like. It sucked. I was in 8th grade, from the South, and hated/would not wear turtlenecks, socks, wool, and hats. I WOULD NOT WEAR SOCKS. Now I’m properly attired at all times, and I don’t mind the cold as long as the sun comes out and my car’s tires stay intact and the heat stays on, but I’ve lived in the Midwest for 34 years. I follow the weather closely all the time, I know what to expect, and I’m lucky enough to have plenty of warm things to wear. If people stay in this part of the country long enough, they often end up doing the same. Enjoy your Cold Day, if you’ve got one, and wear some goddamn socks and a hat tomorrow morning when it’s -13. OK?

Other cold snap advice: Keep your pets warm. Fill the bird feeders. Make soup. Declutter something. The days are getting longer even though the cold is getting stronger. Spring is just 72 days away.

5 Replies to “Pause Game”

  1. Even though I am super grateful for citrus and our mild winters down here I really, really miss cold/snowy/intense winters. People tell me I’m idealizing/forgetting the reality and/or nuts, but I don’t think so. Was gratified when my mother was visiting this past week and told me she didn’t think she ever knew anyone who enjoyed and continued to live life to it’s fullest (long walks, lots of winter food/activity i.e. knitting and spinning) during winter as much as I did during all my years in the North and Midwest. I was glad to hear that I’m not just remembering my love of winter from the skewed perspective of several years of not having had it. Maybe someday I will have it again, maybe not, but I like thinking about it.

    1. Days like today – it’s bitter, no denying it – are fine for me as long as the sun is out OR it is snowing like a mofo. Endless gray days (we had 12 in a row, maybe more, in December) seem to suck the life out of me.

      Jeanne, your mom is totally right. I bet you’d be snowshoeing out at Meadowbrook right now if you were here. I’d even take a vacation day to do it with you. 🙂

  2. I often wonder why some people make it here and some people dont. I’ve lived here my whole life and every year I think more and more– I’ve got to get out of this place (away from the cold). I think I was made to not wear socks. 🙂

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