February 03

Missing the Blizzard

[photo taken from my flight leaving Chicago this morning]

When I found out 19 years ago that we were moving to Chicago so Bill could go to graduate school, I was really dejected. I had seen all of the news reports that made it look like Antarctica. I had spent a sub-zero January day visiting 10 years ago and could not imagine it being anything other than miserable.

Now in my 19th winter, I’ve concluded that there are three game-changers for enjoying a Chicago winter: the right clothes, being physically fit and getting out in it. I could do a whole post on clothing but having enough upper body and back strength to welcome the workout that shoveling snow offers is major but possible at most any age. The real secret though is walking, playing, skiing and working out in the snow. We had the fifth largest blizzard in Chicago history yesterday. This morning there was 19″ of beautiful snow on the ground. With schools cancelled and no one on the road, Bill drove me to the airport for a business trip to Florida. Part of me wanted my flight to be cancelled so I could have a day to cross-country ski in so much new powder. When I get home in a week it will all be compressed and icy, not nearly as much fun. Not everyone enjoys the winter here but for some of us there’s a magic to all of that snow.