by Barbara D'Amato
I get exasperated with TV news anchors who turn to the meteorologist and say, “Don’t tell me we’re going to get any of that nasty white stuff.” I like snow.
No, I don’t ski. Not downhill and not cross-country. You might as well nail boards to my feet.
But I like things to happen. The glory of Chicago weather is that it’s always changing. It’s not boring.
When I was a child, we used to visit my mother’s uncle and aunt in Florida. No matter what time of year we went, it was always the same. Warm, maybe afternoon rain. Warm, maybe afternoon rain. Warmmaybeafternoonrainwarmmaybeaft— Okay, in the summer I guess it was warmer and buggier. With maybe afternoon rain. It was boring.
The upper Midwest is the hardest place on earth to predict the weather.
I’m not a masochist. I have memories of going to classes at Northwestern in Evanston, parking the car on the lakefront in blizzards and walking to campus in sleet storms. I’d get there with a turtleshell of ice on my back. It wasn’t comfortable, but it wasn’t boring, either.
Now that I don’t go out to work, I can choose my weather to walk in, but there is still nothing as wonderful as walking in that first fat falling snow.
Ninety degree days with hundred per cent humidity are less fun. They make me feel sluggish and stupid, but they are a change.
The only weather that actually frightens me is the occasional extremely high wind. Jeanne Dams, Mark Zubro and I were walking back from the Newberry Library when that big wind hit—the wind that blew the scaffolding off the Hancock Building and killed several people. There was siding and glass and insulation shooting past, and we huddled in a hotel lobby for a while.
Some years ago I was out walking in a very high wind and foolishly had my jacket open. The wind picked it and me up like a sail and dropped me on my back.
But still it was an event.
Chicagoans –you who complain about the weather—is Chicago compulsory? Or do you really like our weather? My guess is that most Chicagoans have a sneaking affection for it that they don’t want to admit to.
Tell the truth, now. Do you HAVE to live in Chicago?