Have we been spoiled by global warming?
I think some people have been. I’m seeing more and more comments about this winter’s awful weather and hearing more and more people complain that they just can’t take it anymore.
Take what? I wonder. It is winter in Chicago. It is supposed to snow and supposed to be cold, at least until March.
Having lived through the city’s more famous snowstorms, I don’t understand what all the fuss is about.
So far, this year seems like a normal Chicago winter to me. The rivers and lakes are frozen enough for ice fishing and skating. There ground is covered with enough snow for cross-country skiing. You don’t have to travel to Wisconsin or Michigan to ride a snowmobile.
This is what winter is supposed to be about.
I’m happy to see the snow and the cold. As a matter of fact, I prefer more of it.
Compared to 1967, this is a light winter. Ah, I remember 1967, when the snow came down faster and faster. A girl in my class, who lived half a block from school, walked through the storm and was so soaking wet the nuns sent her back home. All of us who lived a block or more away got a ride to school that day before the snow was too deep.
There was no skating at the outdoor rink at the park because the city dumped all the snow from the streets there. We climbed those snow and ice hills well into March.
The storm of 1979 was another classic that makes this winter seem like nothing out of the ordinary. My flight to Boston was cancelled. Mayor Bilandic lost election because of it, bringing us Mayor Jane Byrne, or, as my Boston friends decided when they saw her picture: “That’s no reformer. That’s Mayor Daley in drag.”
That’s a good winter.
And I remember a colder winter, too. I think it was 1994 when I recall walking the dog in two weeks worth of sub-zero temperatures. Maybe not that cold and maybe not that long, but it seemed like it at the time.
But lately around here the winters have been ridiculously mild. There have been winters of no outdoor skating rinks. In recent winters, we’ve seen snowmobilers who dared to cross a frozen lake fall through the ice.
There have been years in the last decade I’ve wondered why in the world I bought a snow thrower. I finally bought a new shovel this winter, my first since 1987. The last 10 years have been so mild, I think it’s as good as 2001 model.
I’m getting the skis polished up. I bought a new winter hat. I’m wondering where I put my skates because there is nothing like skating on frozen outdoor rink with gentle snowflakes falling. This is winter in Chicago folks. It’s one of the things that makes this city great. If you don’t like it, please move to Arizona. (See last week’s column.)