Saturday, February 5, 2011


I've lived in the Chicago-land area my entire life (except for a brief stint during college).  Winter, cold and snow are just part of life.  In fact, I NEVER had a snow day my entire childhood.  Not a one.  I vividly remember sitting in front of the TV watching the school closings scroll across the screen...crossing my fingers to see mine.  Even in college -- in Syracuse, New York -- where snow was a pretty much everyday occurrence up through May, classes were only canceled once...and it was because there was a tornado that knocked power lines down on campus. 

So, last week, when the reports started that the world was ending with the blizzard of the century, I didn't really think twice about it.  There have been similar reports this season, that have culminated with a measly inch or two.  The closer it got to the storm coming, the more the news people and authorities got hysterical.  I pretty much ignored it all...and rolled my eyes that those that were raiding the grocery store shelves to stock up, on milk and eggs, of all things.  As a side bar, these would not have been my choice of provisions should I be trapped inside for weeks on end.  I think red wine and Oreos would top my list.   

BUT, right on cue at 2 p.m. on Tuesday, February 1, it started. It was snowing good and pretty windy, but no different than I had seen before.  Folks at the office scrambled to get home and I geared up for a LONG commute.  Luckily I could walk underground all the way to the train, got on the first one that came and got home in 20 minutes.  I still didn't see what the big deal was. 

Ok, I have to say, it was as bad as they said it was going to be.  The winds were howling, there was crazy lightening and thunder and snow, lots of it.  I went to sleep on Tuesday night, literally crossing my fingers that the power wouldn't go out.  I knew it was gonna be big as I watched the meteorologist from the Weather Channel get giddy, like a kid in a candy store, as the storm progressed.  He was jumping up and down, laughing as he was blown down Michigan Avenue, with lightening overhead.

We woke up on Wednesday to this...

The day turned out very first snow day.  Work was closed, the nanny couldn't get to the house, it wasn't safe to drive anywhere and it was nice enough day to be outside.  We baked cookies with the kids, played outside in the snow, took naps, hit the neighbors for a play date and wine and everyone was in bed sleeping by 7:15 p.m. 

I am thankful too...thankful that we have a garage for the cars, as I know people that probably won't see their car until Spring if they were parked on a side street.  Thankful that my nanny lives close to public transportation so she could get here on Thursday!  Thankful for the weather people, because if this didn't turn out as bad as they said it would, no one would EVER listen to them again!  Thankful that I didn't drive to work and that I wasn't on Lake Shore Drive, stranded like these poor folks...

And, just thankful for all that I have.  A friend told me that it is unprecedented that the Chicago Public Schools were closed the day after the storm, for the first time in 12 years.  And, even more historic that they were closed two days in a row.  She said it was such a big deal because so many kids are on the free school lunch program and, for a lot of those is their only guaranteed meal a day.  Puts things into perspective...that's for sure.

So, blizzard of 2011, thanks for the memories and my very first snow day.  Here's hoping that the Groundhog's premonition comes true and spring is on its way!

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