Chicago is boasting 13 degrees right now and it’s 7:30 a.m. on January 23. Yesterday at this time the city was a balmy 1 degree. One. Some people love the cold. I’m not one of them. I love the warm breeze on uncovered skin, kisses of sun rays on my cheeks and my toes wiggling in my backyard freely as my hands get dirty tending my vegetable garden, occasionally popping in a fresh, ripe tomato and letting its goodness pop in my mouth.
But Chicago is my hometown and despite its harsh winters, I stay because I know suffering through these dark and cold months early in the year we will be rewarded by the dawn of the Spring season, my favorite season. When the greenery starts penetrating the cold dirt to make its way out of hibernation. I use the term suffering loosely and while on days like this it might feel that way, truthfully, we have it easy in Chicago (as long as you have a nice warm coat, gloves, hat, boots, a sweater, long johns, etc). Sure, there are the days when you never really thaw but the city doesn’t experience many of the other disasters more common around the country like earthquakes or tornados.
So as we watch the thermometer hover over the single digits these next few weeks and months, I’ll comfort myself by flipping through the seed catalogs that have begun arriving in the mail, reviewing my garden space and plotting out where I’ll be planting what and when. I’ll begin ripping out recipes using the ingredients we grow in the garden, scheduling BBQ dates with friends and getaways to beach-side summer homes.
It may be 13 degrees in Chicago today but, for me, Spring is in the air.
How do you manage things you don’t necessarily love in your hometown city but power through it knowing there are things that make living there magical?