Oh, the weather outside is frightful

But since we don’t have a fireplace, the fire isn’t delightful.

It’s so cold that if you blow a bubble outside (the kind with a wand, not the kind you make with gum), it will shatter when it hits the sidewalk.  (My colleague tried it today.)

It’s so cold that many people have to keep the water running so the pipes don’t freeze. (Not us, thankfully.)

It’s so cold that it has taken me all day to get my feet warm.

The news stations and newspapers are asking people, “Why do you live here?”

So I’ve been asking myself, “Why do I live here?”

I live here because I’ve lived here so long that it’s become home.  Roots are important to me.  I have wonderful friends whom I run into at the supermarket (not literally, most times), and I don’t want to start over.

I live here because strangers talk to each other while standing in line.  They talk about the weather, and how bad the traffic was getting to said line, and what a disappointment the Cubs are.

I live here because there is no more beautiful sight than Lake Michigan on a perfect day when you’re driving north on Lake Shore Drive.  On the two perfect days a year that we have, that is.

I live here because I love the combination of Midwestern values and all that a large city provides, and this is the only place you can get that.

I live here because we have theatre and the symphony and the opera and restaurants and professional sports teams and they’d all be easy to get to if I had a life that fit with all those things which I don’t right now but I used to and I will again someday.

I live here because you can get anywhere from O’Hare, unless there’s snow or wind or sleet or lightning, or an air traffic back-up anywhere in the U.S. And then you’re sleeping on a cot.

I live here because my bed never feels cozier than when it’s really cold outside and we have a mountain of blankets on it.

I live here because of the wonderful depth and diversity of the people.  No offense, but my experience with warmer climates tells me that they tend to have a higher percentage of shallow people (L.A.) or old people (Florida) than we do. Prove me wrong.

I live here because the winter makes me appreciate that week in April when it gets warm for the first time (and then turns cold again until mid-June, but whatever), and the summer makes me appreciate October.

So I stay.  But it would be nice to have a home in Florida that I could escape to for a few weeks. Or a month.


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