Thursday, February 28, 2008
Monday, February 25, 2008
I really don't mind the snow....it's just that I've been running, A LOT, and the treadmill is getting a bit boring. I want to run outside! I want to hit the Prairie Path. I want to run sprints on the track. I want to run for miles and miles and not see a building standing tall....(no wait! That's the Dixie Chicks! Sorry, I got carried away!) I want to get on Johnny's bike and ride for an hour. (Yes, Johnny's. Mine was swiped years ago and never replaced!)
Could I do all of these things in the snow? Well, yes. In fact, I see people out running in this snow all of the time. Blame it on my Dallas legs or lack of warm running clothes, but I just couldn't go out in it. If I keep up the running craze, by next winter I'll be ready to run in the cold. But for now, it's just me and my treadmill. And I need a change of scenery.
I have to say, though, that this snow was beautiful. It's the really wet, heavy kind that sticks to all the trees. They are stunning when covered with white. But today, I found myself searching for a hint of green......
Tuesday, February 19, 2008
The first time this season that Chicago experienced these really cold temperatures was the week of January 21, the very week that our family spent in Orlando, Florida. I was thrilled with our "luck" but I remained very curious about how COLD the COLD felt. Oh, I'm sure that I've been in weather that cold, having grown up in the coldest town in Texas (Dalhart--for the curious), and also having visited Kansas City and Colorado in the winter, but never during all of those times was I focused on the actual temperature. Until now.
This all brings me to the present: the 3rd week of February, 2008. All week it's been single digits when I get up in the morning and it seems to warm up only by a few degrees. This hasn't affected me a great deal although the heater seems to have a hard time keeping the house the nice toasty 70 degrees that I like. It's been slipping down to 67 at times, and though that seems a bit chilly, compared to 4, I'll take the 67 without complaint. And it seems when I DO go outside it's to my to car that is parked in the garage, and if I have to set foot outside of my car I am quite bundled up and just make a dash for the building. (Unlike Johnny who has to walk a mile each way from the train station to work.)
So today I decided to step outside without my coat to see what it felt like. Two seconds later, back in the house, I was able to reflect on my experiment and came to the conclusion: IGNORANCE was BLISS! Yah. Probably could've gone the rest of my life without experiencing what the weatherman described today as bitterly cold. Comments like that make me long for the days described as abundantly sunny.
I can now understand what all the warnings were about from my new Northern friends: "just you wait...." "you'll get tired of the snow..." "wait until February!" "you think this is cold? this is not cold...." etc, etc. All points well taken. Even Halle is beginning to feel it. As we got out of the car today at the library she said, "Is it going to be winter for our whole lives?"(And she did not ask with sarcasm--she was serious. This winter has felt like an eternity to her.)
Now I tell you.....I did not write this blog to whine and complain. I am merely stating the facts according to me. I spent plenty of time telling of the ABUNDANTLY SUNNY days of our Wheaton summer, and it's only fair to share the woes of winter. And I admit it....it gets cold here.
But here's the deal. Am I ready to chuck this whole thing because of a few months of cold (ok, bitterly cold)? Considering the fact that I believe God moved us here for a purpose, that would be pretty short-sided. And life is what you make of it. I could choose to groan and complain about some cold air, but instead I choose to focus on all the greatness of the life provided for me!
And I HAVE enjoyed the seasons so far: the mild summer, the chill of fall, the changing leaves, the first "cold snap", the beautiful snow, and the cold winter. But now, after months of being indoors, I AM OFFICIALLY LOOKING FORWARD TO THE SPRING!
Thursday, February 14, 2008
Winter events: 14
Snowfall: 41 inches
Tons of salt applied: 13,600
2007-2008 season, so far
Winter events: 20
Snowfall: 48 inches
Tons of salt applied: 17,500
Did you catch that nearly FIFTY inches of snow have fallen since December 1, 2007? Not only has this lead to many shoveling jobs for the Harris', but it looks like the city is running low on salt. And it's only mid-February. This record snowfall could continue for another month.
Here's a glimpse of the story:
Salt shortages are impeding road crews throughout Illinois as they battle this winter's deluge of snow and ice. An order placed back in January still hasn't come in for Naperville, prompting the Public Works Department to conserve the 1,000 tons of salt remaining in its salt domes.
For the past several storms, cul-de-sacs have not been salted unless absolutely necessary. The city also is waiting to salt residential side streets until after they are plowed and is reducing the amount of salt used on collector streets. (This explains all the snow in MY cul-de-sac.)
"We anticipated we would have in an average winter, and this has by far exceeded that," said Dave Van Vooren, director of Public Works.
Crews will have to compensate for less salt by spending more time plowing snow. Arterial roadways, bridges, sharp curves and steep inclines will still be given typical amounts of salt, according to a city memorandum.
Salt backupVan Vooren said he isn't sure when Naperville's next load of salt will arrive, but the city says a shipment is scheduled for Monday or Tuesday - depending on the weather. Icy rivers have made it difficult for suppliers to transport salt-laden barges, he said.
"What we're hearing is that the suppliers have been unable to get salt delivered to their depot for distribution, and the rivers are too ice-logged for them to get barges through," Van Vooren said.
DuPage County crews also have used up the season's supply of salt, equaling 25,000 tons and costing almost $1 million. On Tuesday, the county board approved a second contract to purchase up to another 12,000 tons if needed.
About 1,300 tons of salt were used during the snowstorms Monday and Tuesday alone, said John Kos, the county's director of transportation and operations.
With about 950 lane miles of pavement to keep clear during often unpredictable winter weather, Kos said he is unsure how much more salt the county will need before spring arrives.
I did read some good news in a related article, though. The Public Works department is on the hook for the damage done to our mailbox via the snowplow. Only catch? We will have to wait until spring to dig a new hole for the post. So come MAY, we might just have a brand new mailbox!
Sunday, February 10, 2008
As a side note, February 10, 2008, was the coldest day I've ever lived through. It topped out at 9 degrees which was not far from the low of 4. The wind was blowing 90 miles an hour (maybe a slight exaggeration, but I don't think I'm far off) so the wind chill was in the negatives. Seriously, you almost couldn't breathe. These are NOT the conditions that I would have chosen for the day we went into downtown Chicago. But although a seat in front of the fireplace was very inticing, even the cold couldn't keep me from celebrating Halle's birthday with her at this special place. I LOVE that girl!
Sunday, February 3, 2008
2) Zip your purse. The snow will go right in it.
3) Even if the day is clear, don't go out in your Uggs unless you've waterproofed them. I've been surprised by the snow a lot. Best bet? Wear your snow boots. Even if the sun is shining.
4) Always zip your coat.
5) When you come out of Target and it's snowing, grab your ice scrapper/brush combo from the bottom of the trunk BEFORE you put on the groceries on top of it. Otherwise you will have to dig for it while it snows on you.
6) It can snow when the temp is above freezing. Really, it can snow any time it wants to.
7) A scarf is not just a cute accessory.
8) I may not be able to wear the 2 pairs of shorts I just bought at Target just yet.......