Winter Blahs

Sunset shadows

This happens every winter.

We get to the last week of January or the first week in February, and the blahs hit.  The weather is stuck in freezer mode, the skies are perpetually gray, and the days get monotonous.  So it is for me right now.

I know I need to get out of here for a while.  It’s been a long time since I’ve had a vacation of any kind, and I really could benefit from the recharge.  I have a few ideas in mind– just weekend trips, nothing that would last a full week — but I’m definitely exploring the options.

There are a few fun things ahead, however.  Next weekend my friends and I are traveling to Whitewater, WI to go skiing.  I’ve never gone skiing before (which may shock some of you), but the idea of just getting away from the city for a while sounds really exciting.  We’ll be staying at our friend Jeff’s family cottage which is not far from Alpine Valley, where the resort is.  I haven’t decided if I’m going to even attempt skiing or just sit in the lodge and drink cocoa or hot toddies and wave.  Either way, I’m really looking forward to the trip.

This weekend is my nieces’ 2nd birthday, so of course a party is planned.  I’m looking forward to seeing them, as I always do.  I can hardly believe they’re already 2 years old.   Time sure flies quickly around here.

In the meantime, I will keep wrapping myself like a mummy and braving the elements.  Each day that passes means that spring is coming closer.  I can’t wait for that first 50 degree day, when runners hit the paths and the city comes alive.  From there, everything will get better.  That’s the glory of seasons, right?

Frozen, but still here!

Just wanted to pop in and say, yes, I’m still here. And I’m sorry I haven’t written much lately. I just haven’t really had that much to say.

After all, how many posts about the weather can one bear?

To sum up…

It’s fucking freezing out there.

This winter has been one of the worst I can recall in years. Aside from the practically nonstop snow, this cold is ridiculous. Right now, the temperature is -16 outside. My car is buried, not only in snow but now, ice.  I’ve been taking the train every day to work (which really hasn’t been that awful, except for the past few days when it’s been so brutally cold).  I’m sorry, but this is just not right. Penguins are meant for temps like this, not people.

Yesterday the Chicago Tribune ran an article on the front page of their website titled, “Why do we live here?” It was funny that they did that, because I’d been asking myself that same question all week. In fact, I’ve asked myself that question all winter.

So what is my answer?  Well, there are a few good reasons.

First, I’ve lived in the Midwest all my life. Born and raised in Kenosha, WI and now in Chicago. I’ve never lived anywhere else.

Second, my family is near here. I’m an hour or so away from home, and if I need to be there, I’m a quick car ride away.

Third, I don’t live here for the winters. I live here for the other seasons. Winter lasts all of three, maybe four months, tops. It’s miserable, but it turns into spring. And spring around here is really quite nice. And then of course, spring leads to summer; which can be painful if it’s too humid, but for the most part is still worth the wait through three or four months of cold, hard winter. And then, Autumn is beautiful with the colors and the crispness of the air.

I thought about what it would be like to live in warmer climes, and heard all kinds of suggestions from people who live in those climes. Florida, right now, is wonderful; but come summer, it’s so humid that I wouldn’t be able to breathe. And I’m enough of a basket case when we get an occasional thunderstorm, so hurricanes would not sit right with me at all.

Arizona, right now, is amazing. But come summer, I’m sorry, 120 degree heat is 120 degree heat; and I don’t care how friggin’ dry it is.

California is a great place to visit, but I’ve known far too many friends who tried to “make it” there, only to end up back home to the midwest after a while. Some claimed the people were not to their liking; others couldn’t deal with the inflated cost of living (especially in desireable places like San Francicsco).  Still others hated the earthquakes (that’d by my downfall). Whatever the reason, they always seem to end up back home again.

And then there was another factor that I didn’t consider, that more than one person reminded me of:  Bugs.  And I don’t mean the occasional spider or centipede… I’m talking mongoloid monster bugs, like flying cockroaches, hairy spiders and (*shudder*) scorpions. Seriously, folks… the fact that those monsters can’t survive up here because it gets as cold as it gets up here is enough reason for me to want to stay.

But really, the main reason why I live here is due to family. And not just my blood relatives, but the friends that I have here as well. Sure, the idea of trying out a new location is exciting. There’s something to be said for getting a “Fresh start” somewhere new.

But I know me. And I know that after a while the excitement would die off, and I’d be incredibly homesick. Despite all of the bitching and moaning I, and people like me do about the weather here, I do love it here. And in the end, I would not trade this place for anywhere else in the world.

So I guess I’m going to stay.

Well, I have to go start mummifying myself to catch a train.

Happy Friday! 🙂

January sucks

I hate the month of January.  Plain and simple.

It’s a cold, gray, bleak month with nothing good going for it but a three-day-weekend on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.  The rest of the time is spent hoping that February is a little less blah; a little less dreary.

Of course it doesn’t help that about 90% of my friends are all going on a cruise to the Carribean this weekend.  You may remember that as the same cruise that I almost went on last year but backed out when common sense got the best of me and I realized there was no way in HELL I could afford it.  Probably one of the smartest things I’ve ever done — though I really could use the sunshine, warm air, sunshine, hot boys in speedos, sunshine and… well you get the picture.

The problem with hearing all about this cruise is it only makes those of us left behind even more depressed that we have to be stuck in this shit-hole weather.  They practically thumb their noses at us on the way to the airport.  Gee thanks.  Hope your ship doesn’t run into a tidal wave and flip upside down.  Which, as you know, unless you’re Shelley Winters, you ain’t gonna survive!  And trust me, most my friends are not Shelley Winters-sized individuals. 

Adding insult to injury, this weekend the temperature is expected to plummet to single-digits or lower.  Oh GOODY!  Let’s make it gray and blah AND frigid!

You may note a slight tone of sarcasm to my words today.  Well, yeah, I’m just a little down in the dumps.  There are other reasons for this that I don’t want to write about right now, so I’ll just blame everything on the weather and maybe that will help.

I need a vacation!