Wednesday, January 17, 2007


The weather is cold at the moment, below freezing with a sub-zero windchill. This means the snow that fell last weekend isn't melting. It flecks the trees and covers the litter along the freeways. For the most part, it is still white. Smoke rises from the chimneys of houses and from the skyscapers in the two downtowns. Huge clouds come from the downtown heating plants. I love the sight of a cold downtown, with smoke billowing around the tall buildings. In Minneapolis, which is a more modern city than St. Paul, with a lot of glass and steel buildings, the skyscapers reflect the smoke as it drifts past.

I go in for layers in the winter: a turtleneck covered with a cord shirt. Over that I put a Wintergreen parka, which has a thin lining, since it's designed to be worn over a polartec anorak. Most days I skip the anorak, since it isn't cold enough; and I don't bother to zip the parka, since I'm going in and out of buildings and buses. Why zip the parka to walk four blocks?

The last few days I have thought of zipping the parka; and I would, if I had to wait for a bus on a corner for any period of time.

I got a ride home tonight. There was still light in the east at 5:30, but most of the sky was dark. We drove along the Mississippi, then over the Lake Street Bridge. The peace demonstrators who are there every Wednesday were finishing up, carrying their signs to their cars. Tonight they had on down jackets and long down coats. Many, possibly most, are retirement age. Hardy folk.

On the other side of the river, we went through residential neighborhoods. There was snow on the roofs of the house and snow covering the front yards. Christmas lights were still up and shining through the darkness. This is the way my home town is supposed to look in the winter.

I suddenly felt moved to say, "If our forebearers had wanted to live in Omaha, they wouldn't have built these cities. The weather that was good enough for them is good enough for me."


Anonymous Anonymous said...

The glass box I work in was dangerous yesterday as the ice sheets melted enough to come crashing down off the sides of the building to land on the skylights of the atrium.

8:18 AM  
Blogger Foxessa said...

I like Christmas where there are palm trees.

But am still relieved that winter finally arrived here in NYC after days of 70 degree weather.

It's not supposed to be like that in January!

Love, C.

3:38 PM  

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