The winter has shown herself early this year. I’m not sure how I feel about that. Oh wait, I absolutely hate it. With a fiery passion that cannot be described beyond that. Growing up on the south side of Chicago and attending public schools made my hatred for the winter and its weather much stronger. When there were “snow days” for Catholic schools and suburban schools, public school students were often the ONLY students in the Chicago area attending school. I was naive as a kid, which is why I didn’t understand why kids would be treated that way. Didn’t they understand that it’s a snow day?! Being a public school student and growing up at my Granny B’s house didn’t help my relationship with winter, either. She lives in the South Shore area, about 20 minutes away from Lake Michigan. Anyone who lives near the lake(#shoutout to the Kenwood students, who have braved those winds)will tell you that when the weatherman calls for it to be 54 degrees, you might as well figure that to be 39-44 degrees if you’re anywhere NEAR the lake. I played baseball in high school, and our home field was separated from the lake by a beach and Lake Shore Drive. There were times when I could see the waves in the lake from shortstop, which was never a good sign. Baseball, being a mostly stationary sport(there have been plenty of games where I nearly froze my fingers off because I barely moved),makes it hard to keep warm. Unlike football–where there’s constant movement for about 2/3 of a 53-man NFL roster–some players on the baseball diamond aren’t involved in one play during the course of an entire game. That lake effect is represented by that damn wind. The wind that earned Chicago the nickname “Windy City”(actually, it’s more because of politics, but I’ll blog about that another time)or, more recently, “The City of Wind”. It bites. It pierces. It pinches, and sometimes, I think it punches. It’s not really the Chicago temperatures in winter that are frightening, it’s the wind chill factor. The temperature outside may be 37 degrees, but the wind chill factor can make it feel like it’s only 7 degrees, which is disturbingly cold. Truth be told, the winters in Chicago are a bitch. Getting dressed as a kid is a hassle, because your parents know that pneumonia and frostbite are easy to find if your not properly covered up. It affects the mood as well. Chicago is such a great city, but who really wants to go outside for any reason when it feels like it’s 4 degrees? People in residential areas go crazy. Fighting ensues over parking spots, and drivers skid across streets and crash into each other. Policemen aren’t very eager to answer calls, and the petty crime in some areas increases because of it. Shoveling is more than a chore, especially when you’re the only one in your house that is willing to get up early enough to do it. There is no chilling on the porch in the winter. There are no late-night trips to The Point, or walks down Michigan Avenue in the middle of January. Winter solstice comes on December 21, wraps her sold, spiny, ugly fingers around my city and doesn’t let go until March 21. You’re one cold ass bitch, Winter Solstice. And people wonder why I respond with, ‘Word?’ when people tell me that they love the winter…  P.S. I miss Karen!!! P.P.S. #shoutout to all of my people who don’t have to worry about the cold…

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