Mar 2, 2014

Spring is in the head

Okay, it's official. This Chicago winter, with its polar vortices, arctic surges and Alberta clippers was one for the books. Meteorologically it is over, as the local weathermen and -girls (for some reason unbeknownst to me, the local weathermen are typically past their 50s, but the -women are under 30) count the months of December, January and February as their 'official' winter. Over the last 3 months we got 67.4 inches of snow, which makes the 2013/14 winter the third snowiest since record keeping begun. What made it more cabin-feverish was the average temperature of 18.8 degrees F (-7 degrees C), or the third coldest winter on record. Put a lot of snow and butt freezing temperatures together and even die-hard Chicagoans turn into a complaining bunch.

It started to feel somewhat heroic to deal with this weather, although GABROEN must admit that the cabin fever was becoming a little stifling. But rather than joining the growing army of complainers, we did a couple of things to break the mold and lift our spirits.

We moved furniture and paintings around, installed better lighting, and traded in Gabri's Mazda 3 with its fun-in-the-sun, but dangerously snow-sliding front wheel drive, for another all wheel drive Subaru. This trade-in equals Gabri not being able to safely leave home for at least one out of every three days lately, to Gabri excited when the roads are not yet plowed as the Subaru is built for this gruesome weather.

Another great way to lift our spirits was during the last 5 days of this long winter - we were happy to leave for Arizona where the temperatures were actually higher than average. Stay tuned for details of this trip in other posts in the coming days, but suffice it to say that it replenished our pitiful vitamin D levels and warmed our bone marrow. We returned yesterday, March 1, the official start of Spring, at least in the minds of our weathermen. It looks like we're gonna need all the vitamin D we've got, as we landed in the middle of winter-storm Titan with another 6 inches of snow, crews plowing landing strips and de-icing planes, and only a handful of taxis braving the roads.

Luckily for us, our pre-arranged ride was an all wheel drive, and the driver was willing to chip in a few extra hours - of the regular 200 cars this company has riding around for airport pickups, only he and one other guy were showing up.

So let's see what March has in store for us; I'm sure it's going to take at least another 10 weeks and 2 jars of multivitamin pills before the crocuses we spotted in Arizona will show up in Illinois. All wheel drive makes it much easier to bear, it's just too bad that that doesn't solve the precarious process of digestive emissions of a mexican hairless dog in this record-breaking weather. Ruba is the true heroine of this story, complaining just a little and just happy to see us return to the feverish cabin..........

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