By now we've had some great days of sun and warmish weather, but if you know Chicago, it's all a big tease. I can't tell you how many times I've looked out at bright blue skies and the tulips waving in the breeze, a sure sign I can toss on a light jacket and head on out.
But once you get going you find that gentle wind is actually a sharp bite in the face, and the warmth of the sunbeams, a big chill when the clouds pass overhead. Mother Nature can be very devious.
I've heard jokes, maybe you as well, that Chicagoans are known to don shorts on the first warm day in March and wash their cars in their driveways. Come the first cool day in September, out come the fashionable boots, sweaters and scarves. Are we rushing things? Are we tired and bored and always ready to hang up our hats on winter (or summer, etc)?
As a longtime lifestyle blogger I have friends, or blog followers, from all over the world. I've found that talking about the weather is universal, not just over the water cooler here in the U.S.
This has really helped me hone my skills in geography and climates. I might be chatting online with a blog friend in Australia, who is heading to the beach while I'm tossing another log on the fire. Another friend in Utah constantly throws me off when in March she tells me she planted flowers just a few days after a terrible freeze and 75 mph winds from across the canyons.
But I digress. There are unfortunate souls who live in areas where the weather is relatively the same throughout the year. A blogger I know who is a life-long Floridian is completely baffled that I have to pack and unpack clothes on a seasonal basis (no walk-in closet here).
Apparently, she simply tosses on her sweater when it's chilly. Another friend in southern California said to me that she had always thought Chicago was windy and cold year-round.
What? Have these people never been to our beautiful city and had the joy of spending the day at Oak StreetBeach? A bike ride along Lake Shore Drive? A picnic in Millennium Park? I guess they have just narrowed their image of Chicago down to those scenes on the nightly news of people swaying sideways in the wind with their umbrellas inside out.
But I have to be humble and admit that when my friend in Sydney is enjoying her summer and taking off for the beach in December, I wondered when the heck they celebrate Christmas.
So, to answer my question about the possibility that we might be bored with our seasons and want to rush into the next, I think it may run deeper than that. We are a hearty bunch.
Just as we have many perfect mellow days throughout the year that make us give thanks that we are alive, we also have the down and dirty, the days that test our abilities anywhere from hopping over mud puddles, to digging our car out of a snow pile. We roll with it.
And when we are dusting off those sandals at the first real sign of summer, or pulling out our Northface boots in the winter, we're looking forward. It's anticipation, not dread. Because we know this season will flow into the next and that's pretty much how life works.
Janet Boudreau is a writer, blogger and longtime resident of Evergreen Park. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.