Tuesday evening, when I was at at the market picking up a gallon of milk, a pint of raspberries and some of the most beautiful strawberries that I've seen since last June , a really nice man took note of my knee high, black rubber boots and said politely, "You must be ready for the really deep snow that's coming." I smiled at him, shook my head and replied simply, "I am."
What I really wanted to say was, "I'm pretty sure that, at this point, I have no other choice since I don't have a ticket and most of the flights out of O'Hare airport to anywhere warm are either full or cancelled."
Yep, you guessed it, I live in Northern Illinois.
Don't get me wrong, I don't mind winter..... unless it's below zero. I was born and raised here and I've reached the point in my life where I actually do have a choice of where I live. So, I figure that if I really dislike winter enough to spend my time complaining about it, I should probably move to a warmer climate. I've considered it briefly from time to time.....
Like when I'm watching the frost form around the electric outlet in the bathroom in January.... or using a butter knife to chip the ice away from the inside of the front door so that I can open it to retrieve the mail from the frozen mailbox.
On those days, I long to be on a beach. Somewhere warm....with my butt in the sand and my toes in salt water...and then reality hits me.
I could live in a warmer climate.
Butt then I'd have to deal with bathing suit season.
It's kind of a catch22 for me. At my age, spending 6 months of the year trying to make a knee length, down filled parka, knee high boots, and layers of clothing and thermals look fashionable as I attempt to venture out to exotic, far away locals (like the market or the mail box) is difficult enough.
Attempting to look presentable in a bathing suit at my age and having people run from the beach screaming like a scene from a shark week movie....not.so.much.
So, really, by the time I put on a bathing suit, a cover up, sun screen, a hat and a towel to walk the beach, is it really that much different than wearing a parka to go to the mailbox?
I think not...well, except for the freezing part
So, instead of spending the months of February and March on a beach causing the type of panic that's usually reserved for hurricane season and shark sitings, I'll be here, in Illinois, perusing seed catalogs and buying pots of tulips and daffodils at the market because for now, there's two feet of snow covering the bulbs in my yard.
I'll be starting seeds in little trays by the sunny windows in in my kitchen...telling myself that the thin layer of ice on the inside will magnify the sun's warming rays and help the seeds to germinate and potting plants in this fabulous vintage wash stand...
...in the back hall (because there's a snow drift that's as tall as I am which, from the size of it, will prohibit me from opening the door to the potting shed until May.)
I'll be here, in Illinois counting the days until Spring and wondering whether I should change things up and wear my red wool mittens today when I go to the hardware store to buy more oil for the snow blower.
Yep...I'm a trend setter... potting plants in a repurposed wash stand in the hall off of my kitchen and wearing a wool scarf in the house because there's a wind chill index in the living room.
The people on the beaches of Florida and Mexico are safe for another season.
Amazing wash stand: My friend, Joy at SavvyCityFarmer.com
Potted bulbs: Trader Joe's
Angel Vine: Diane Passi
French pots, grain sack linen apron, galvanized pots and vintage watering can: my collection.