I thought I knew winter.
Growing up in Maryland it meant a few snow storms, some days off school, and a couple months of chilly weather. When we moved to Pennsylvania, winter meant more snow, colder weather and hardly any days off school.
But, I truly did not know a thing about winter until this year in Chicago.
This is for REAL.
The snow is nonstop. We're constantly shoveling. The ground is permanently white. We haven't seen grass since November. Negative temperatures are a weekly occurrence. If you haven't experienced negative 25 degrees, you have no clue. I'm not even talking wind chill. I'm talking straight negative 25, with a wind chill of negative 45 or 50. That stuff stings.
People here are tough. They know winter.
There's no days off school for snow or ice. The roads are completely cleared before 6 a.m.
Kids play outside for recess every day for school (as long as the temperature is above 0) and they like it. They are expected to wear snowsuits and that's that.
Everybody know the rules, regardless of how ludicrous it might seem that our kids are frolicking in the snow when its 2 degrees outside.
I have to admit that winter's fury has made us all tougher. We don't fret over a few inches of snow. Actually we kind of like it. And 30 degrees seems like summer.
Saturday it was 20 degrees. We strapped on our snowsuits and boot and played at the local park like it was springtime. We slid down slides and swung on swings and chased the puppy around in the snowy field.
Today we set up a bonfire in our backyard. Easily two feet of snow covers our backyard. But we all set up our camping chairs on the frozen ground, huddled around the fire and roasted marshmallows.
Winter can't stop us!