January goes away

If I had to rank the months of the year in order of my personal preference, January would be at or near the bottom. Winter will do that, I’m afraid. So after today, January goes away for a good long time. If all goes well it will come back again, for me and everyone readingContinue reading “January goes away”

Light at the end of Winter’s tunnel

This winter has been unlike any that I’ve seen before. The cold seems colder, the snow seems deeper, and the winds seem to whip everything up with more gusto than usual. A conversation with a baseball-loving colleague earlier this week produced what I’m going to call the Wilker Rule. It’s an inverse relationship between theContinue reading “Light at the end of Winter’s tunnel”

A teabag wrapper haiku

I’ve been drinking tea lately, as I wean myself off of a long-term coffee habit. And when I drink tea at work, I undo the tea envelope so as to leave the paper intact. And today, I took the white space and the baseball on my coffee-turned-tea mug as a form of inspiration. I reallyContinue reading “A teabag wrapper haiku”

Clearing out some space

The dirty secret about the practice of dibs–which is saving a parking spot on the street by putting chairs in the space during the wintertime–is that once somebody saves a spot for themselves, they have no incentive to clear it out. Once it’s theirs, it’s theirs. Or so the thinking goes, anyway. Today the sunContinue reading “Clearing out some space”

You give a push, and you get a push

With snow falling in many places around the country, and even in places that don’t get too much snow, I feel compelled to remind anyone and everyone of one simple truism that I’ve learned from decades of living in snowy Chicago: Help each other out. No matter who you are or what you drive, you’reContinue reading “You give a push, and you get a push”

Spring training and life itself

Since this winter has been dragging on and on, the news that Spring training is almost here is a welcome reminder of warmer days to come. I’ve written about Beyond the Vines before, and in a way it reminds me of something, too. Nestled among the graves at the Bohemian National cemetery on Chicago’s NorthContinue reading “Spring training and life itself”

Calling Dibs

Whenever a big snowfall happens in Chicago, the parking spaces along the curb get overrun with snow. If you walk down almost any block in the city when this happens, you’ll see parking spots being “saved” by an assortment of chairs, crates, traffic cones, children’s toys, and anything else that happens to be available. TheContinue reading “Calling Dibs”

The luminarias burned through the night

Most of the luminarias that we put out on Christmas eve burned out, but this one–and a few others–made it to the dawn of Christmas day. There was something about the serenity of it that demanded a picture and a few words here. It’s a sign of something good, I hope. The end of 2013Continue reading “The luminarias burned through the night”

Well it’s Christmas eve

After driving through freezing rain in Missouri and Oklahoma, and then crossing the Texas panhandle and the desert terrain in New Mexico, I get to spend the holiday in a moderately warm clime. It’s below zero back home in Chicago, so I’m grateful to be in a place that’s snowy but not bitterly cold. TheContinue reading “Well it’s Christmas eve”

A snowy day in Chicago

It’s not the holidays without snow. As much as I complain about shoveling, I need to have snow to feel the season. Yesterday’s snow should carry me through these last few days of December, barring an unforeseen warmup. Now I can hear “It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas” and really get into it.

And the snow comes back

Yesterday was the first snowfall of the year, or at least for this winter. Last winter’s snow pattern was very strange, with a dusting on Christmas day, and then none until early February. We obviously won’t be getting that again this year. I also saw some snow in the Smoky Mountains on Spring break, soContinue reading “And the snow comes back”

Nothing to complain about

When you’re in a climate-controlled cabin in the Smoky Mountains, and this is the view out of the window, there’s not too much to complain about. Even if it is supposed to be Spring Break. Winter came late this year, is all. And next week we’ll have baseball. Can’t beat that.

Waiting for Spring while I still can

I complain about things sometimes. We all do. But going to cemetery can help to bring some perspective to life’s troubles. I’ve written about Beyond the Vines before, a Cubs-themed burial spot in a cemetery in Chicago. Spring training will never come again for the people whose names are on this wall, which makes theContinue reading “Waiting for Spring while I still can”

Take what you can get

Yesterday was the first chance to do some sledding in Chicago this winter. When it doesn’t snow, you can’t go sledding. It’s just that simple. So when a light coating of snow fell, my little one and I made the most of it. It was a lot of fun, and the light snow, and theContinue reading “Take what you can get”