And It Starts…


First Snow 2014

This is the view out my back door…it is only November 17…sigh…

I know I live in the Midwest and that it’s supposed to be cold this time of year in the Northern Hemisphere. But after last winter’s Snow-mageddon, I’m not ready to begin the fight again.

Yes, I realize that other parts of the country have already seen more snow than this. My “U-per” daughter enjoyed not one but two snow days last week. But I do not live on the Canada border, so this snow – that is sticking! – is more than I signed up for and honestly, more than I think I can stand.

Forecasts are all different for just how bad this winter might be. Some say worse than last year, others say much easier. I even read in the Sunday paper a prediction that heating bills will ultimately be lower than last year, because while some cold snaps are expected, they won’t be prolonged. In other words, we aren’t entering a deep freeze.

But let’s be honest, all the weather “experts” are taking a 50/50 shot at this. Maybe this is all the snow we’ll see this year, and maybe this is just the foundational layer. Or maybe it’s something in between. All I know is that I am not looking forward to fighting the elements to get to work, digging out the snow boots and gloves, walking around the house in three or four layers even though the heat is cranking.

The upside is that maybe this will put me in the holiday mood. And if the sun ever comes back out, it will be nice and bright, reflecting off the snow. I just hope that this round melts enough for me to cover the patio furniture before the next round hits.

I guess this is one of those times we just have keep plugging along. And it starts…



The Dog Days


Dog Days 2

I can’t believe summer is winding down already and we are entering the Dog Days, defined as the hottest period of the year. Fun fact:  Historically, it coincided with the heliacal rising of Sirius, the Dog Star.

How do I know this? My kids start back to school over the next couple weeks. I can tell that the evenings are starting to get dark a little tiny bit earlier each night. I can feel the opportunities slipping away for that afternoon in the sun.

Normally, I kind of like this time of year. Usually, by this point in the summer, I’m kind of ready for the change in season. But this year is a bit different. Here in the Midwest, we have had a lovely summer. Perhaps the Weather Gods are trying to show their remorse for the uber-winter we had, but mostly sunny and temps in the 70’s to 80’s with generally cool nights (perfect for sleeping!). Very few 90-degree+ days and overall generally manageable humidity levels (translation – not tropic). And I find myself wishing that we’d had just a couple more days of really hot and humid.

Now many people, including the rest of my family, think I’m nuts. (Well, to be honest, probably for more than just my thoughts on the weather, but…) But it’s because it’s been so beautiful this summer that I’m a little sad.

Generally by this time we have had those super-hot days where you feel like you are truly melting into a puddle. And the humidity is so high that when you walk outside, it’s like being smacked in the face with a giant wet sponge. And we Midwesterners get the chance to complain. This restores balance to the universe, because we spent equal time in winter complaining about the cold and ice.

I feel balance-less right now. I complained SO much last winter about the cold, swearing that I would NEVER be warm again, I assumed I would get equal time complaining about the heat and humidity. When that balance exists, I can happily look forward to getting my sweaters and hoodies out of storage. Without that balance, the end of summer (and the approach of winter…again) feels like that much more of a loss.

Who knows? This is the Midwest and we have a saying: “If you don’t like the weather, wait five minutes because it will change.” We could still get some of the heat and humidity that I so crave. Maybe it will happen as soon as the kids are back in school…with no air conditioning. Maybe it will be after I return to the working world…where I have to dress like a grown-up professional, which means no shorts and tank tops. Maybe this means that the upcoming winter will be mild. Who can say?

I guess my only option is to go sit in the sun and soak up as much of the heat as my little body can store. And enjoy whatever “Dog Days” we get.




Winter Woes



This has been one long winter…

Now I know that most people are dealing with winter woes just as much as I am, but I think I have officially reached my limit.  And now that we are finally getting some nice weather (i.e., above zero degrees), I find that I am getting even more impatient for summer.

Normally, I am a big fan of the spring season.  I love the budding trees, seeing those first crocus, tulips and daffodils pushing bravely through the soil and sometime snow, brings me back to life.  When the crab apple trees and the orange blossom bush (that is threatening to take over my front yard, by the way) start to bloom, my soul fills up with a giddy happiness.

This year, I’m not in the mood.  Bring on summer…now.  I want bright, hot sun, 90-degree days.  I will even take to 150% humidity that we can get…my skin will love it!

But ultimately, I want to feel the warm summer sun on my face.  I want to have coffee on my patio while I greet the sunrise.  I want to sit on the bleachers at a baseball game with a ballpark hotdog (ketchup and mustard please) and maybe a beer (depending on where the bleachers are).  I want to drink an ice-cold strawberry lemonade while catching some rays…using sunscreen of course.  I want to open all the doors and windows in the house and feel the breeze blow out the cobwebs in my house…and my brain.

I keep reminding myself that we are getting there.  The piles of snow are shrinking and I’m seeing more ground patches.  (Notice I didn’t say grass…grass is green and we aren’t quite there yet.)  I keep reminding myself that there will come a day in late July where I complain – out loud to anyone who will listen – that it is too hot.  There will come that moment in September where I want nothing more than to wear a sweat shirt.  I tell myself not to wish my life away, since it’s going too fast as it is.

But right now, everything else is being drowned out by my winter woes.