snowed in

February 22, 2011

from vegas i flew to chicago to celebrate my grandmother’s 91st birthday. little did i know that a huge storm was arriving along with me…what turned out to be the third largest blizzard in chicago history!! on tuesday my mom and i went out to run errands, despite extreme winds and a 24hr blizzard warning. we stocked up on food with the rest of the lakeview neighborhood, struggling just to walk to the car in the wind and swirling snow clouds! that night we hunkered down and i read several copies of national geographic, occasionally peeking out the window at the snow piling up in the street. at one point there was even lightning and thunder AND snow!!!! OMG!!!

by the morning, it was still snowing and people slowly tried to dig themselves out. while we were able to get out of the house enough to shovel, the city was shut down for all of wednesday and most of thursday- schools were closed for two days (we only had 1 snow day in my entire school career!!!); buses and suburban trains were barely running; 700 cars were stranded on lake shore drive.

continuing our tradition of playing in the snow, dorothy and i decided to hike to the lake with some friends in town (we would have cross-country skiied, had we had the right equipment) but we only made it to “the hill” at lincoln park high school, fearing the impending below-0 temperatures. we blazed down the slopes on our scavenged garbage-can and rubbermaid lids alongside kids suited up in their snow gear and wooden sleds. my toes froze in my mom’s pink paisley rainboots and i made us go home (it hurts!!!).

some of my favorite parts of experiencing a storm in chicago are the quirky traditions that emerge. people work for hours to dig out their cars and then leave lawn chairs or traffic cones in the spot to “reserve” it. this time i saw all kinds of junk in the shoveled spots- ironing boards, kid’s tricycles, sawhorses. all kinds of things were buried and all kinds of pathways were being carved out on corners; entire lots were piled up with excess snow; people were parking their bikes on top of piles of snow. you have to move differently through it, around it; your whole day is based around gearing up and coming in contact with snow! i like to think about what kind of stuff you find when it all defrosts…..

my list of museums and shops and friends to visit sat un-checked-off; going out was simply too cold and too wet and too complicated! dorothy and i did manage to make it down to chinatown on chinese new year to meet hana for dim sum dinner (my fortune cookie even predicted reconnection with a long lost friend!!!) but in terms of a “productive” trip, it was not. no worries, though, because quality time inside with grandma will always will over any snowpocalypse.


blinded by the light
comfort & class
if you build it...

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