Friday, October 2, 2009

We'll Retire Someplace Warm

*tune in this morning at 10 am eastern/9am central for a very special edition of the LiveStream talk show Suburban Wow -with a special guest* (cheater link here)

Happy Fatherhood Friday to all! When your done here, don't forget to visit Dad-Blogs for some wonderful links to awesome bloggers posting everything parenthood/fatherhood related.

It's October and we now have a solid month of school under our belts with only 8 more to go. Fall weather has moved in pushing away the summer sun which was a cakewalk of a job because we actually saw very little sun and warm this summer, here in Chicago.

As much as I love the bursts of amazing color that the fall brings, sleeping with the windows open, bundled under warm blankets on brisk autumn nights, pulling my favorite cozy grandpa sweaters and 'happy' socks out the closet to wear once again, and all the fun that surrounds one of my favorite holidays, this time of year always manages to depress me.

Don't get me wrong, I am happy as pie literally when we take the kids apple picking and into corn mazes or on field trips to pumpkin farms, and I always make pies. Weasels love pie. It's that our time is limited and rushed. With school back in session we have much less time to enjoy as a family. Even on the weekends, sporting events, social commitments and homework schedules make even getting out the door to church become a chore. Not to mention rolling the dice of what the weather will be like and feeling the weather clock ticking away at the opportunities for enjoyable outdoor activities. Many days are simply cold and wet. Corn mazes are not nearly as fun when you are cold and wet and have to clean 2" of caked on mud off of 7 pairs of shoes.

Probably the most depressing part though is knowing what is coming right around the next corner. By mid-November old man winter will be screaming 'get off my lawn', and we will for the most part be barricaded into our homes for the next 7 months. Mind you, I don't mean Texas heat style, "It's not pleasant to be outside for more the 2 minutes". I mean bundling up in a parka, gloves, scarf, hat and uber thick wool socks only to still be in physical pain waiting for the car to warm up in the garage.

I'm talking about pushing a shopping cart though mucky, yucky slush to get your groceries into your car. A wind that blows so hard and cold it tears straight through to your bones. Stabbing frostbite style kind of cold. It's not just "I don't really want to go outside", it's "I am being stabbed with 1000 needles simultaneously" and no, I am not exaggerating.

Last winter was particularly brutal. There were 2 or 3 days that school was canceled, not for snow, but for cold. Without a flake on the ground, school was canceled because it was too cold to be outdoors. Dangerously cold. Like Alaskans were saying "holy $%*#, it's cold!". -25 f, -30f and -35f, if memory serves me well. No, that doesn't include the windchill factor. School buses parked outside do not turn over and start in those temperatures. Neither do cars parked in driveways for that matter. Mr. Weasels won't start when it reaches -10 and that's with a new battery.

So for about 6 months we stay indoors as much as possible. Cabin fever overcomes us and things start to get reminiscent of The Shining. It's still dark at 7am and gets dark again by 4:30pm. Everything is gray and brown.

If I am painting a morbid picture, that's because it is. I know people here who love the winter and can't take the heat of summer that never happened this year. I am not one of them, but this is where my life is. This is where my children grow and thrive. This is where there is work to put food on our table and a roof over our heads. This is where children and adults (myself included) frolic in the snow (when it's above 0 F).

So I will do my best to enjoy all that fall has to offer. I will bake pies and other goodies that aren't summer fare. Will we go apple picking and let the Weasels get us lost in a corn maze. We will pull out our coziest, most favorite sweaters and socks and cuddle with each other under blankets. We will take the precious little family time we have in our schedule and use it wisely. We will enjoy the bountiful colors of our landscape and suck it all in, before it all disappears and old man winter yells for us to 'keep it down'.

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23 comments:

Eric said...

Being from Texas.. I had no idea what Fall was.

Joanie M said...

I keep thinking a move to NC in a few years (i.e. when my youngest graduates from college) might just be in order. I am so tired of cold and snow.

terri said...

I know exactly what you mean and I feel the same way. But, this is the life we choose when we live in the midwest! (Can you send some pie my way?)

PJ Mullen said...

Cabin fever is horrible and I so don't miss snow

whatnowdad said...

I'm with you for the most part. Winter really bugs me after the holidays are over. I love it up until then, but a week after New Year's I'm always like "OK, I need warm weather now!"

BellaDaddy said...

Do your family a favor...dont consider AZ as a place to retire..too hot, for too long LOL

Kudos!

Otter Thomas said...

I could never live anywhere north of Arkansas. It is just too cold. The one week or so that it gets below freezing here each year I threaten to move to Florida. I hate the cold. Be sure and thank Global Warming for your bitter cold winter last year.

Jason said...

I definitely share that feeling of a loss of time and slower pace.

PS too bad about 2016 (or were you rooting against it?)

Charlie on the PA Turnpike said...

I'm in NE Pennsylvania, where we've had our fair share of cold winters. Not quite as dear as the ones you've described.

I'll be sure to send you warm thoughts in a few weeks...

Teacher Tom said...

I spent 3 years in Michigan, so I feel your winter pain. Seattle has always been the perfect solution, lots of rain, but rarely hotter than 75 or colder than 45. This summer we had a week of 105+ and two weeks of heavy snow (often we get none). Things are changing, that's for sure.

The Devoted Dad said...

For having little ones, we seem to keep ourselves quite busy in the evenings and weekends as well, and during winter, we too get a little cabin fever, especially after the holidays. I love the fall, and live it up while I can, cause it doesn't last long. -Jason

Heather said...

...and yet I'm moving there. It's cold here in IN, but not nearly as brutally cold as it gets in IL, mainly the winds get so CARAAAAAZY.

i'm with you--fall's my favorite time of year because it honestly feels like "one last hurrah!" until winter steals all of our sunshine (literally) and takes away our breath.

*sadface*

Dad@ACL said...

Having been to Wisconsin in the winter, you get a real sense of what pain is. When you step outside, it's like getting hit by a hammer. Your brain shuts off for a second. And that lake effect that Chicago and Milwaukee get to share, is a whole new level of yuckiness.

ciara said...

i absolutely hate snow, cold, and rain. i could never live anywhere where any of that was a constant especially due to the fact that i'm cold most days anyways (thx to the fubar thyroid) lol we kind of see fall here, but i prefer spring cos summer brings the 100+ temps. if i lived in san diego i wouldn't complain as much...that always feels like home to me and the weather is beautiful almost all year round.

i've been waking up freezing in the mornings...almost time for the heater lol

Michelle said...

Uhhh you just totally ruined my night. I'm already bummed I can't do the open windows thing because of the random rain, but thinking about what's coming? *sigh* I hate winter. I hate being cold.

WeaselMomma said...

Eric ~ Fall = the season between summer (when we run and jump for joy) and Winter (when we just want to jump).

Joanie ~ I here ya and say go for it. I will go warm the first chance I get.

@ Terri ~ Such is our lot in the midwest. I'll make you pie, but you have to come visit to get them.

@ PJ ~ Oh, how I could enjoy the mild winters of the south!

@ What Now ~ Yeah, I can tolerate the cold through December. January, February, March and even April here make me want to lose my mind.

@ BellasDaddy ~ Hmmm, as long as we had a pool......

@ Otter ~ Where the heck is global warming when I need it?

@ Jason ~ I was both disappointed (very slightly) and relieved about the 2016 decision.

@ Charlie ~ I grew up in PA and it's no picnic, but the harshness and length of the winters here make you understand why ao many pioneers died on the plains.

@ Teacher Tom ~ Michigan is a real treat, alright. Seattle doesn't offer enough warmth and sunshine to get my vitamin D fix though.

@ Devoted Dad ~ I'm going to try to make the most out of this fall, while I can.

@ Heather ~ I hate knowing what's coming around the corner.

@ ACL ~ You can say that again.

@ Ciara ~ You need to live someplace that's "Africa Hot".

@ Michelle ~ We can commiserate and keep warm over Bloody Marys this winter.

Jeve (aka John and Steve) said...

I am SO with you Weasel Momma. winter kills me every year. Wet NYC is not a fun NYC.

Michelle said...

Bloody Mary = not hot enough.

Irish coffee? Hot toddy? Maybe something along those lines. btw mark your calendar for Dec 5 and chocolate martinis among other things....

seashore subjects said...

I do miss fall - it is probably the season I miss most. But a month of cool temps and beautiful colors is a steep price to pay for 1000 needles.

WeaselMomma said...

@ Michelle ~ Consider it marked. I only said Bloody Mary's thinking that a good breakfast drink. I'm all for Irish in my coffee.

Mr. Man said...

Let's figure out a way to trade homes for a month. I wanna learn how to build a snowman!

Galveston is waiting,baby!

Or Kemah, TX. Google that one. You'd love it.

surprised mom said...

I originally read this post when it came out, but commented from work. And, voila, no comment. I gotta stop commenting from work.

Fall is my favorite season. Just enough sunshine, but, ah, blessed, cool temps. Winter is my least favorite season. But, I cannot tolerate the boil your skin off summers of the south. I believe I should live in the Northwest. I love the cool temps all year long. Even the rain wouldn't bother me. I think it's the Irish in me. Rain is often heard in the weather forecasts, not as bad as Scotland, I hear.

Let's a take a road trip to the Florida Keys this winter. I've always wanted to go there! Can you imagine the warmth?

Mrs4444 said...

Wow-this was an awesome post, WM.I especially loved the last line :)

"and no, I am not exaggerating" You're funny.

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