Thursday, December 18, 2008

Winter in Chicago

On Tuesday, I flew from Portland to Chicago for Christmas vacation & ended up in the same weather. Go figure.
On previous years I left rainy, cool Portland & arrived in very cold, snowy Chicago. On this trip, the weather was virtually the same in both cities. Very strange.
I took this whole adventure in stride. Most of my fellow travelers were grumbling about snow hampering their way to get home. They are not used to services being stopped or curtailed. Chicago’s motto is “the City that Works”. It’s almost like the Post Office motto, “rain or snow or dark of night shall keep us from our rounds”.
I had just left a city that had closed down on Monday because of snow & ice. The schools were closed and many businesses were closed or on short hours. The Mayor of Portland asked people to stay home or use public transport. Portland & the Willamette Valley understand you can’t go up against Mother Nature & win. Chicagoans put up big muscle of huge plows & salt trucks to get the city moving during & quickly after a snowstorm. Many years ago, the voters were reminded by the opposing candidate, about the horrifically slow city response to a snowstorm. They voted the sitting mayor out of office in next election. It wasn’t really the mayor’s fault as there were huge back to back snow storms. Any response would have been helpless. That response shows how determine Chicago is to not be stopped by snow!
Driving from the airport last night, the city looked very beautiful. The ugly toll of shoveling, salt trucks & snow plows had not hit the pristine landscape. Everything was heavily dusted with snow. It was a Christmas card moment! I enjoyed the view as I knew it would be gone in the morning.
Wednesday morning was sunny with crystal clear blue skies. The temps topped off at 26F and the snowplows & neighborhood snow blowers were out.
We’re due for another storm on Thursday. We’ll all plan around it & know that we won’t be house bound for long.

Good Luck in the Valley.
Merry Christmas!