Two days ago, we had the first snow of the season here in Chicago. Just as the forecast predicted, the temperature fell below zero, the wind picked up, and the rain started. I went downstairs to pay my dues on the aging treadmill in the basement — one that has a rather disconcerting grinding sound when you step on it with your right foot — and I returned only to hear about a virtual white out from the American. Goddamn! First snow and I miss it. Just my luck!
But just before I left for work a few hours later, I saw it. Whilst it wasn’t as dramatic as the earlier flurries, it was enough to get excited about. The American and I tried to capture the fleeting moments, our two faces pressed up against the glass of the two north-facing windows, watching the landscape below turn white.
Since then, we’ve come to understand the need to bundle up before you step out of the building: it’s better to be warm as you exit than it is to let Chicago’s brutal winds freeze you before you’ve had a chance to zip up your jacket and put on your gloves. Chicago has a reputation for being the Windy City for a reason.
Most of the leaves have fallen, so Chicago feels like a whole new city to explore. I wandered around the little lake yesterday and was mesmerised by the beauty of the still water and the city reflected in it. I took a moment to soak it in before my body told me to keep moving. It was too cold to stay stationary for long.
I went home with the sole purpose of returning outdoors with the American — the sun was setting and it was beyond beautiful. We wandered to Lake Michigan, the sunset turning the sky dusky pinks, purples, oranges and yellows.
We walked down the Lakeshore Drive, almost deserted compared to the last time I’d been there. A few cyclists, two brave runners passed us as we headed toward the Ship at North Avenue Beach. Our cheeks were flushed from the icy winds off the lake, and snow dotted the sand. At the deserted roller hockey rink (where we watched Josh play only a month or two ago), we took a turn around what was the playing surface and then headed for home.
Slowly, but surely, I’m feeling more at home here. I’m acclimatising to the greyness and the descending temperatures better than I thought (so far), and we even played tennis for an hour out in -3C yesterday. It wasn’t on my Life List to play tennis in sub-zero temperatures before yesterday, but I’m claiming it.