4 minutes

As you might have guessed, I’m a bit of a nerd when it comes to numbers and most especially when it comes to the weather.  Living in Chicago right next to this really big body of water, we are continually impacted in ways that not only are fascinating, but affect one’s daily life a lot.  All year long, we exist in what many call a concrete jungle but what they don’t know is most of the winter we live with concrete skies over our heads.  Because Lake Michigan is so deep, it takes a long time for it to freeze so the water temperatures stay right around the high 20’s/low 30’s.  Add to that air temps that are about the same and you have a perfect recipe for concrete skies.  Low clouds that obliterate the sun and guarantee to obliterate any good mood you might have.  We do occasionally have blue skies but the trade off here is they are the result of a extremely cold arctic front visiting from Canada.  And it’s that word arctic that the sticking point.  When they say arctic, they mean arctic.  But you do get to see the sun which is so welcome if you don’t have to venture out in it.

This time of year we are, and by that I mean I am, at our wits end with all this nonsense.  The snow continues to fall and because it’s late season snow, it’s very heavy wet snow.  The winds are starting to change so we get more snow off the lake from the east.  And there’s not a bit of green to be found anywhere.  It’s enough to break even the hardiest of spirits.  One thing that has helped me get through this period each year is the amount of sunshine we gain with each day.  Even though I can’t see that sunshine, I check the Weather Channel every morning to see the changes in sunrise and sunset.  Most days it’s a minute or two, but the other day, it was 4 MINUTES! I know, I could barely contain my excitement.  The sun is now rising before 7am and setting after 530p.  I’m all aquiver.

This may seem like a silly thing to be obsessed about.  I’ll admit it, I’m a bit obsessed.  But it’s the small things that make a difference.  The attention to detail that set you apart in any situation.  Now this particular quirk of mine may set me apart in a way I hadn’t counted on (I can see the comments now “oh HER, she’s a little too excited about the weather)!  But in a broader sense, paying attention to details will help me remember the names of my clients children, their favorite restaurant or what college they went to.

And of course, I’m in with all the other weather geeks.  You know who you are.

Colorado Quiet

Winter has finally come to Chicago with a vengeance.  It’s been snowing off and on for several days.  It’s not really sticking because Lake Michigan is still pretty warm so the air temperature makes the snow melt.  We’ve been enjoying the global warming effect for the month of November.  Temps were in the upper 40’s-low 50’s the entire month.  Golfers were out in force on all the public courses well into December.  They’re wired a little different than the rest of us but it was pretty warm.

All this is coming to an end this week.  First the snow and then the wind and falling temps will come screaming in.  But the snow has been wonderful.  I’m always surprised at how much it quiets the world as it falls.  I’ve named it Colorado quiet because that was the first place I became aware of how magical the silence was.  And how calm and focused I have become in the quiet.  Winter has never been one of my favorite seasons because having to commute in it can really break your spirit.  But this year I’m working from home so no nasty commute or walking across the Michigan Avenue bridge in 35 MPH winds.  Maybe I’ll truly come to appreciate this season and it’s beauty.  I know I truly appreciate the silence.