This is partially a response to Bobby’s post on the Siberia Winter. Normally, I would yell at Bobby for ever complaining about a 62 degree day in the middle of winter. I am one of the few that has never grown accustomed to Chicago winters. I simply have to escape for a week each winter. It is necessary for survival.
On the other hand, I absolutely loved the Blizzard of 2011. First, I got a break from an unending stream of work. Classes were canceled and I had no choice, but to stay at home and rest. Instead I had a wonderful low key night with friends playing Monopoly. I felt like a child celebrating his first snow day.
The next day is what Chicagoans always fear. The terrible commutes, the dirty snow, hours of shoveling etc. This day, however, was different. I woke up and grabbed the shovel. The cold air in my lungs mixed with the heat of sweat as I shoveled the walk felt wonderful. It was my first form of exercise in weeks.
An hour later my roommate Matt came out and we spent the next couple hours shoveling side by side in silence. It was very peaceful. More than that, I felt a large sense of community. Families all down the street grabbed their shovels and worked side by side. An elderly woman on cross country skis briefly stopped to talk about the weather and what to do about cars. A couple of girls from down the street even stopped to have me take their picture. Something about the storm drew people together.
This morning, however, I woke up to the brutal reality. The grey snow. Ice attaching my car’s tires to the street. And the fear that someone will take the parking spot that took me 3+ hours to dig out. The parking spot fiasco has creating a huge stir in Chicago to the point where Mayor Daily issued a statement that this year people are allowed to call “dibs” on spots they have shoveled out with lawn chairs and trash cans. I can only hope that my laundry basket will be enough.
I guess the kumbaya moment can only last so long.