Thursday, October 12, 2006

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow.

This morning when I woke up, things looked kind of strange outside.

It was snowing!

I still get excited over snow because it hardly ever happened where I grew up. For so long, I wanted to get out of Texas, the land of George Bush and high school football. I finally did on July 23, 1997 when I moved to New York and later to Toronto.

So, for me, snow underlines the fact that I did make it out of Texas. The more it snows, the more I feel like I've really accomplished something. I know it's silly, but there you go.

For five years, I lived in a house here in Chicago. When it snowed, I'd have to shovel the stuff which wasn't much fun. I'd happily pay a kid twenty bucks to do it. Still, I much prefer winter over summer. I'd much rather shovel snow in Chicago than mow a lawn in Texas.

Now that I live in a high rise, I take comfort in the fact that all snow removal is taking place fifty floors below me.

The hottest I've ever been was, suprisingly, not in Texas. Sure, I remember it getting up to 119 one day in 1980, but everything is air-conditioned down there. No, the hottest I've ever been was in Des Moines. I was there on a roller coaster riding vacation with a buddy at some small amusement park. It was 98 degrees and so humid that the air felt like split pea soup. All that corn in Iowa gives off tons of humidity. Nothing was air conditioned except one terribly smokey bingo parlor. It was horrible. We stank. Everything stank.

The coldest I've ever been was on a skiing vacation in Keystone, Colorado. It was minus 22 F that morning. There was a sign saying that the wind chill at the top of the mountain was minus 65. Zoom! Up we go. They weren't lying.

I don't think I'd like to live in a place like San Francisco where it's cool all the time. It's as if the weather has been put on bi-polar medication -- all the extremes have been whittled away. Boring.

Chicago is pretty nice. The summers are clement and if it does get really hot, it's not for very long. The winters can be pretty edgy here which is fun for a southern boy like me. There's nothing quite like standing on an EL platform with that winter wind howling off the icy lake to remind me that, indeed, I'm not in Kansas anymore.


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