First off, let me state that I may just be the only person in the Chicagoland area who likes winter. And my four year-old, Olivia, may be the only one who LOVES it. There is something so delightful about bundling up and trekking out, being able to see where you've been in the crisp snow, and making a general mess of things with ice and twigs and grass and boots when you tromp back into the house, and then cozying up with a blanket and a warm drink. Ideally a fireplace, but I think those are against code in our building...
We've been learning about the year and the equinoxes and solstices, and so every day when Olivia looks out and sees the snow-covered ground she asks, "is it solstice?" A.k.a. Is it winter?
No, it is not officially winter, but I think we should petition that, with negative windchills and blowing snow. My goodness. If snow does not a winter make, what does? I love the softness that a snowfall brings - the thought that the world is still within a snowglobe of flakes - and the pace of life must necessarily slow down. And blizzards aren't that bad, either - they remind us that we are much smaller than Nature, even with all of our lovely technology - and they make us appreciate the warmth of the hearth and the company of friends.
So I suppose my only caveat with winter is that it has to snow. A lot. A Metrodome-roof-collapsing lot. Which it, unfortunately, despite our northerly latitude, does not.
My mother will send me weather bulletins about blizzards and the worst storm of the century and I won't even read them. It is too depressing to me, who loves snow, to read with anticipation the doomsday forecasts of 1 foot of snow to see it tapering off as soon as it hits this lake. "Lake Effect," which to most implies more snow than normal, doesn't apply to us, except in that it usually sucks the moisture right out of the air and then jettisons it across the lake to western Michigan and northern Indiana.
Sometimes I think we live on the wrong side of the lake.
Olivia, however, is too young to be embittered by years of promises broken. She LOVES the snow, and any sign of it is heartening for her. Our first snowfall happened before this so-called "blizzard" that just swept through, right on time immediately after Thanksgiving. Here are some of the fruits of our outside labors.
Brr. I hope you are warm and cosy seeing these!