Sunday, January 11, 2015

For the Love of a Good Winter Blast

      We spent the last  twelve days in Southern California welcoming our Grandson Vaughn Alexan to our family.  When we left Chicago, our house was in full Christmas bloom with trees, lights both inside and out, wreaths, candles, and assorted what they call table top accessories.  All that was missing was the snow and cold.  When we got to Pasadena it was in the 50s.  It was warmer than it was in Chicago for sure but apparently cold for Californians.  Some of them were dressed in winter coats, scarves, and gloves.  It was kind of funny.  
     The past few days, it had warmed up there.  It was quite pleasant in the 70s and even low 80s.  I even wore shorts one day.  It was nice.  At the same time, there were news and facebook posts, OK mainly facebook reports, of a snowy cold blast hitting Chicago.  It was so cold that the schools were all closed Thursday and Friday of last week.  People from Illinois, Michigan, and Massachusetts were posting and texting about how cold it was and wondering why they were living where they were living.  Folks in California were telling me how lucky I was to be there and not home. 
     Actually, they are all wrong about my being glad to be away from the cold and snow.  I like the seasons.  Fall is by far my favorite.  The shocker is that I like winter too.  The winter that I like is exactly the kind I was missing:  a polar vortex, cold bast, frigid snowy, single digit temperatures, and wind chills in the negative teens. I missed that at Christmas as it was a bit too warm and there was zero snow.  It just didn't feel right.  When I express my love for the cold and snow, people, especially in California, question this saying "But it is so cold."  Yes it is and that is exactly the point.  It is good to bundle up in wools or corduroys, big fat sweaters, fleece liners, parkas, boots, gloves, and stocking hats.  It is good to walk in the cold.  It is good to pop the car in the 4WD (yes my 4Runner is that old) and drive in the new fallen snow.  I like winter.  I have even written about it a few times in this blog:
  1. This first part of a 2009 piece It All Began with an Air Bath.
  2. My January 2005 letter, Winter Survival ,about my Boy Scout days.
I guess it is just a matter of getting used to it. 
     When we landed at O'Hare, it felt great to step outside, breath in some cold air, and blow out a vapory exhale.  When we got home, I got out of the car, and having the wrong shoes on, almost fell on my ego.  From the photo I took out the front door this evening upon getting home, it is clear that this is exactly the kind of winter weather I am talking about.  
     Looking forward to bundling up and heading out in the morning for the first day of classes in the Spring term.

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