Winter Finally Arrived

and I’m Not Impressed

It snowed yesterday afternoon through early evening over here in Illinois (I read somewhere that you shouldn’t start a piece of writing with a description of the weather). The news, with its cadre of weather forecasters and meteorologists, warned us that the weather was going to be severe, the snow plentiful, and the dangers real (nothing like a little bit of fear mongering to keep the readers clicking and the viewers fixated). There was some heavy snow and ice in other parts of the Midwest but we got about two inches of snow, half of which melted by this morning. With a new year approaching I came away from winter’s arrival with two pieces of information.

The first piece of information is that the news is not the best source available to get my weather forecasts. I’m thinking maybe I’ll just step outside with my morning coffee and look at the clouds each morning and make a reasonable guess at how to prepare for the day. The second piece of information is that winter is not too impressive so far. There wasn’t even enough snow last night to make it worth my while to take out the camera and snap off a few shots. Maybe winter will come on a bit stronger in January but I’ve got my suspicions that it is going to be just cold enough and snowy enough to make life uncomfortable for the next couple of months. Winter may even stay around long enough to bump the first part of spring.

“Snowy Morning Drive”

Tomorrow is the last day of the year and today is the last day I’m going to write about winter. A sad snow storm seems to be a fitting end to this year. I wonder what 2021 has in store for us?


Still Waiting For It

‘It’ Being Winter

There was a light frost on the car windows this morning and a few flurries in the air on the way to work but there is no winter yet. The news engaged in a bit of fear mongering this past weekend (as the news likes to do) and warned us about the possibility of a few inches of snow and below zero temperatures all week. Neither happened or is likely to, at least not this week. As I was driving home today with the windows cracked and minding my speed (see “Where is Winter?”) still waiting for winter to arrive I got to thinking about a rather odd question (as I like to do).

“Chair in Snow”

What is an actual Midwest winter these days, and how does a modern Midwest winter compare to those winters I remember from previous years? I mentioned on December 9th that winters of the past were punctual, predictable, and parted in a timely manner. Winters of the last few years haven’t shown up when they should. The news can’t seem to make any sort of accurate prediction concerning the weather out here in the Midwest, and when winter does arrive it stays long enough to rob some of the beauty of spring.

“Snowy Six Corners”

Maybe it’s time to stop being sentimental about winters from the past and embrace these new Midwest winters. Maybe I need to keep short sleeve shirts and flip flops ready through January. Maybe I don’t need to get the snow blower ready by Thanksgiving. Maybe I need to accept that there won’t be as many winter photo opportunities as there were in years past. Maybe I’ll just keep waiting.


That little known sport referred to as winter driving.


Winter Time: The Mix Tape

1. “December Baby”–Ingrid Michaelson

2. “Snowin’ on Raton”–Townes Van Zandt

3. “Mid-December Blues”–Samuel James

4. “Snowflake”–Amy LaVere

5. “Get Me Through December”–Alison Krauss

6. “Winter”–Tori Amos

7. “Winter’s Song”–Cowboy Junkies

“Snowy Backyard #3”

8. “Christmas Song”–Dave Matthews Band

9. “Christmas in Paradise”–Mary Gauthier

10. “White Christmas”–Otis Redding

11. “New Year’s Resolution”–Otis Redding and & Carla Thomas

12. “Happy New Year”–Lightnin’ Hopkins

13. “Like New Year’s Day”–Sara Watkins

14. “Winter’s Come and Gone”–Gillian Welch


Where is Winter?

or How Winter Has Become Kind of a Jackass  

Damn near 55 degrees on the drive home today. I had the windows down, the radio up, and was appreciating the weather when those all too familiar red and blue lights of the Illinois State Police lit up behind me. This isn’t going to be a journo about the $164.00 stocking stuffer that I’m giving to the state of Illinois. Sticking with the topic of winter, I want to tap out a few lines about the indecisive weather here in the Midwest.

We’re into the second week of December and I could have worn short sleeves to work today. There is talk of snow in the forecast for this Saturday (a week of ago the forecast for today was the low 40s) but a few flurries does not mean the arrival of winter. And this delay, this waiting, this wondering when winter will finally show up makes its arrival all the more difficult. It’s hard to lean into winter if you don’t when it will show up. Old Man Winter used to be a pretty reliable guest. You knew he was coming, he showed up on time, and left when he wore out his welcome (give or take a week or so). Now, winter is more like one of those jackass phone solicitors telling you your car’s warranty is about to expire. You don’t when he is going to call, when he does call it’s at inopportune times, and he even though you block his number he never really goes away (not my best metaphor but I’m thinking of selling my good ones to pay for the ticket).

Winter in part of living in the Midwest and it is something that I’m used to. What I am not used to is the thought of wearing flip flops in December (unless I plan on going back to Mississippi). So Old Man Winter, wherever you are hiding, quit acting like a Jackass and show up, do your thing, and leave once you’ve worn out your welcome. Oh, and do you have a hundred bucks I can borrow?


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