“WHY did my family settle in the Midwest???” – is a thing that a few of us said at work today. “What’s wrong with Texas? Alabama? Arizona?”
Today, the high was zero degrees. The current wind chill is about 20 below zero. Not much fun, right? Oddly enough, though, the ridiculously cold weather made me appreciate a few things about life here in Chiberia.
Warm clothes. Hot coffee. Heated trains. Today, I wore fleece-lined leggings under my jeans. I wore a long-sleeved shirt, a flannel shirt and a vest. A scarf, gloves and earmuffs. A really huge coat, two pairs of socks and intense boots. It’s so easy to complain that we have to wear these layers. I think we should spend more time feeling grateful for the ability to wear them.
A Beautiful City. Don’t get me wrong – I do prefer Chicago in the heat of summer. But, if it has to get cold, at least it is beautiful. Check out the lake – I shot this photo from the office today.
Commuting. Because it means that I have a job. I have somewhere to be and things to do. Even better, from the train, I get to see our beautiful skyline beside the sunrise.
Commuters. I love commuters for a few reasons. First, they understand the routine. They’re courteous – hold doors open, are quiet during the ride.
And every once in a while, they make you smile.
On Monday morning, the first frigid day, I was standing among the silent commuters. Waiting for the delayed train, in the terribly cold weather, we were all huddled into our own worlds. Faces hidden in mountains of scarves, hats and hoods, few people even acknowledged each other. The only sound was that of people’s shoes crunching through the snow.
Then, the man next to me looked down the tracks, toward the city. The sun was rising in a fiery yellow and orange light. He laughed and said, “Wow! That sunrise is really beautiful. That, or Chicago is on fire.” I laughed and looked, too – I hadn’t even noticed it. (I then, obviously, took a picture and posted it to Instagram. The image is included at the top of this post.) That was definitely an important moment for me. Even if the wind chill is 20 below, take a moment to look up and notice the sun rise. It will (literally) brighten your day.
Bed. Blankets. Because at the end of the day, is anything better than Friends on Netflix with a candle burning and tea brewing?