Monday, October 6, 2014

I can’t figure the weather, but my mother still helps keep me warm

At first, I thought it was my imagination.

I was walking to a Metra commuter rail station Saturday morning when damp little driplets began to pelt my face.

IT WAS CLEAR that it was not rainfall. But snow? This early in the season. When we’re officially still two months away from the beginning of winter?

Sure enough, it was.

A snowfall so light that it barely registered. But it is what we got hit with in Chicago this morning, and the cloudy overcast day and cold temperatures made worse by the fact that I spent a part of the morning right on the shore of Lake Michigan (at the one-time U.S. Steel South Works site) where there were no big buildings to alter the breeze.

I got hit with a blast of chill. It felt like a winter’s day. And when later in the day it started to actually rain, I got soaked and seriously cold.

SATURDAY NIGHT, the temperatures were to hit levels just above freezing.

I guess what I’m really trying to say here is that I got spoiled by what essentially was a mild summer. It was fairly comfortable. We didn’t get many days of excessively high temperatures.

I definitely got spoiled by the notion of comfortable temperatures. I’m not ready yet for excess winter cold.

Particularly if it is anything like those excessive days of heavy snow and sudden chill that we endured over and over and over again back in January and February of this year.

FOR THE RECORD, this is not the earliest snowfall on record in Chicago. The national Weather Service says that in both 1928 and 1944 on Sept. 25, the Second City got hit with traces of snow.

So 2014 will be the year we can chant “We’re Number 3!!!” when it comes to snowfall. But that fact does not make this weekend any more pleasant.

The fact that Sunday was a bit warmer than Saturday only means we had to appreciate the slight uptick in heat all the more, since it is clear summertime is over – although the fact that baseball is still being played without Chicago ball clubs ought to have been the ultimate evidence of that fact.

Despite all this attitude that really is one step up from a whine, I can’t say I would want to give serious thought to leaving Chicago. The city has way too much going for it for me to consider leaving just because of a dose of cold.

BESIDES, THE FACT is that in the “real” world, temperatures get cold. I don’t know that I fully trust any place where people think a 30-plus degree day is a cold spell and evidence of the polar vortex.

If anything, the most unpleasant aspect of snow in Chicago is that it will get all the nitwits worked up who think they have a right to stake claims to parking spaces on public streets by dredging up all their summertime lawn furniture.

I’d suggest citing those people for littering, except that I realize our police officers really do have more significant things they ought to be doing with their time while on duty.

What I’m going to dredge up is one of my warmer jackets – one that I tucked away back in March and haven’t worn since.

IT IS ONE that I got as a present from my mother for Christmas 2009 – a leather jacket (although I do have one of those heavy, bulky down jackets for the truly shivering days).

That happens to be the last Christmas I celebrated with my mother prior to her passing. It was a last gift she gave to me.

So as I go about in coming weeks managing to stay warm despite the chill in the air, all I’ll have to say is, “Thanks Mom.”


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