Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Thought for The Day - Breaking Winter

Elastic 18 x 24 pastels


Many years ago, I worked briefly with a lady who moved here from Alabama. She said to me: "you all complain about your winters here in Chicago; it gets this cold back in Birmingham!" I quickly defended "my home" and told her: "this isn't a Chicago winter! A 'normal Chicago winter doesn't have any warm days and there's always snow!" Well after nearly 30 years, it seems we may be returning to the winters I knew and tolerated/appreciated!

It's April 23rd and the high for today is expected to reach 48. I will leave the house wearing the same winter coat I've worn all winter and a knitted cap. This is a Chicago winter; one that carries well into spring. You will see people in short sleeves and shorts; personally I think they're crazy because this is the type of cold that finds a good home in your limbs and joints and long before you're old, you wish you had enough sense to dress properly and respect a "cool breeze off the lake!"

One good thing about our strange weather: it teaches you to appreciate 90 degree days, at least it taught me to do that! Another thing that occurs, you learn to make plans and as soon as the weather breaks, implement them. That's a life lesson I think I've grown into. A couple days of warm and sunny days, I'm in the yard trimming and clipping and raking. And like life, the stubborn winter winds come howling down again, just so you don't think you're in paradise! I slow my pace, put on my protective outer layer and wait for the next break.

Life has been that way for me; on my way to the life I hope for, the road can be extremely smooth. Friends and family are kind and considerate. But suddenly, out of nowhere, the road cuts off and I find myself on a detour not on the map. I spend days, weeks, months and years trying to find my way back to the path and I learn to tolerate/appreciate a few sunny days and peaceful nights. But all the while, I'm looking for the "break"; the dissolving of winter's icy grip.