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A church near my house displays icicles, the stuff of legend.
A church near my house displays icicles, the stuff of legend.
One “advantage” to having most of your family in a warmer climate is getting constant reminders of how cold it is where you are.

“The Weather Channel says it feels like minus four there,” wrote Mom helpfully in an email to me today. “Do you have plenty of supplies in case you get snowed in? You know, like 20 cans of tuna, 5 jars of mayonnaise, 60 gallons of water, 40 pounds of turkey jerky?”

Or you’ll get the messages complaining about how cold it is there. In California. Where it might, on a rare occasion, freeze.

Meanwhile, I’m watching the harbor outside my window become a solid sheet of ice.

I feel like a freshman in college again, figuring out how to do simple things that everyone around me has already mastered. Boots? How do I wear boots? Do I wear them all day at the office? (Some helpful people have told me that I am supposed to carry shoes to change into in my bag. This is a bizarre notion, and one that disturbs my germophobic self.) What about transit? Can I take the bus when there are 8 inches of snow on the ground? How do I dress? How many layers is too many? (My default mode is to WEAR ALL THE CLOTHES.) *Do* I need 60 gallons of emergency water? (No, but I’ve been advised that stocking up on toilet paper is a good idea.)

But it’s FUN. It’s different. It’s a challenge. An adventure, as my father likes to say.

Which might be why I let myself take a dare — I never turn down a dare — to go stand outside in six degrees in a tank top and shorts this evening.

Chicago, I have never appreciated hot cocoa so much.

Published in My Life in Boystown


  1. Goosey


    YAY! LOL — also, I just kick off my shoes or boots and walk around the office in my sock feet.

    • Heather


      SOCKS! What a great idea…

  2. Second the socks. Some people at my office leave “nice shoes” at work so they can wear boots coming and going without carrying them around. I just wear boots, because I can’t imagine that anyone is paying that much attention to what’s on my feet. But carrying an extra pair of socks around (or leaving an extra pair at the office) is a good idea too. I’m still learning about scarves. I don’t understand how people wear skirts in winter. Absurd. Stay warm!

    • Heather


      Dude, I keep looking at girls in skirts and wondering how their legs have skin left. SO. COLD.

      In honor of not paying attention to feet, I wore crazy socks today, just for you. ;-)

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