Friday, December 29, 2017

Brrrrrr! It’s cold outside. Or, only 90 more days till baseball Opening Day

As I write this, it’s 10 degrees outside, with the potential to rise to 14 degrees. Wind chill will create conditions that supposedly will make it feel more like 1 or 2 degrees temperature.
Rocco, Carmelo cope w/ winter weather

In short, this lull of a week between the Christmas and New Year’s holidays is friggin’ freezing. This week during which many people will look for any excuse they can find to get out of work is provided with a perfect excuse by Mother Nature.


There’s no reason why human beings should be outdoors if they can possibly avoid it. The perfect time to do as little as is humanly possible.

For some people, it’s the perfect excuse to contemplate finding some other region of the globe to live in – some place where the idea of the temperatures ever dropping below 32 degrees (the official standard point at which water freezes into ice) is just a bad nightmare.

I’m not necessarily talking about some place with sunshine and perpetual 70 degree temperatures. Just some place where taking the dogs out for a walk doesn’t put one at risk for hypothermia.
Even he's shivering

I BRING UP that example because I often do wind up taking my father’s pair of dogs (a Standard Poodle and a mixed-breed Golden Retriever/Poodle) out for their daily walk.

While I have noticed they still get excited at the thought of being able to go outside, all it takes is one blast of the Arctic-like air for them to immediately change their minds.

I’m amused at how quickly the dogs (Rocco and Carmelo) are now capable of doing their “business” before they suddenly give every indication that they want to go back inside. Back home. No more of this aimless wandering that they usually do because “it’s outside.”

It makes me wonder if dogs can have more sense than people, or at least some individuals, based on their public behavior.
With holidays over, we do countdown to spring

YES, I FEEL the cold temperatures, just as much as anybody else. Even my neighbor with the elaborately-decorated front yard came up with something appropriate -- an inflatable snowman that shivers because it's so cold!

Yet I have to confess something – maybe it’s evidence that I’m losing it. But I don’t feel the urge to want to flee Chicago, or the Midwestern U.S., just because it’s cold outside!

I still remember one December I spent in Florida just over three decades ago – the idea of a swimming pool at that time of year just seemed strange. And listening to the locals complain about the cold because for a couple of days the temperatures dipped into the mid-30s?

It elicited the same reaction I get whenever I hear reports of snowfall in the Southern U.S. bringing daily life to a standstill – What a bunch of wimps!!!

IT’S COLD OUTSIDE; I’ll be the first to admit it. But it truly is part of the natural cycle of life on this planet to have the seasons. Finding a place where it never freezes is the extreme of life – just as a place like Antarctica is the opposite end (a land of perpetual winter).

We’re in the cycle of life – about to end the current calendar year. And for what it’s worth, we’ve passed the point where the days are getting shorter and the sun sets about 4:30 p.m. Minute by minute, we’re getting extra daylight and moving toward the time period in which we’ll have the mild temperatures that make life truly sweet and pleasant.

Besides, if we’re to be totally honest, we’ve managed to avoid the most annoying part of winter weather – the slop of snowfall. That downpour we got on Sunday (a.k.a., Christmas Eve) was over by day’s end and wasn’t that hard to clean up.
It won't be long before springtime returns, even to Chicago
It added to the winter ambiance that we’ll be able to remember fondly come May. Besides, it’s only 90 more days ‘til Opening Day for Major League Baseball – a thought to keep in mind if the wintry weather conditions become too unbearable.


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