Tuesday, December 23, 2008


That is how we are feeling in Chicago after three snowstorms, an ice storm and two days of -30 windchill -- all within eight days, right before Christmas.

We expect this in January, spread out over four or five weeks. But not in December.

So we are tired. Not as tired as the Germans after World War II - as rivetingly depicted in the film I just watched, Germany: Year Zero. But still quite tired.

During the first snow storm, it took people four hours to get home from the city. Four hours!

During yesterday's storm, it took a full hour to get from a teaching gig in Oak Park to a downtown yoga studio - a drive that usually takes 15-20 minutes.

People are tired of it.

They are walking around hunched over, their mouths shaped like mail-slots.

It's time time to finish Christmas shopping, but they're just not up to it.

No one wants to go out if they have a good parking space. (The snow was incredibly heavy when it was time to shovel. If people didn't do it that afternoon, it was frozen solid and immovable the following morning. In fact, some cars were literally frozen into place when the deep freeze took hold. Instead, most people took their chances, gunning the tires, and didn't bother to shovel. The result is that the side streets are filled with hazardous grooves; you don't want to park there. And there only a few good parking spaces on the main arteries. They aren't safe, either. You risk being towed from these main arteries if the snow on the street is deeper than two inches - which it has been quite often of late).

You see a lot of cars parked at jaunty angles; it seems the driver got into the spot partway, and then gave up. Better to let the thing get hit than to risk frostbite trying to dig it out.

The most common sound you hear these days is wheels spinning, as cars attempt to extricate themselves from parking spaces.

You also see a lot of seemingly able-bodied people walking past these spinning wheels, and refusing to help.

The air is heavy with the smell of road salt and burning rubber.

We are also early with ice-related injuries this year. I know one fellow who broke a rib after a fall, and a student knows someone else who did the exact same thing.

And we're just two days into winter.....

One can't help but ask, what did Chicago do to deserve this battering?

Any ideas?

I have two:


-corrupt politicians

A better question might be - why do we live here?


Lest you think it's over....the forecast for Wednesday morning is freezing rain (and flooding), followed by blowing and drifting snow in the afternoon.

Photos above were snapped well before the current snowed-in condition of the city.


  1. Hi Cara,

    We should be in India next winter time. :)

    Have a great evening (despite the weather).


  2. Anonymous10:52 AM

    Come to Gokulam,best weather now. Tonight at the Ramakrisherna Ashram, they actually set up a lovely Xmas tree on the altar, it was full of people, amazing chanting evening...

  3. Oh, there is an anonymous person who knows you very well.

    The Ramakrishna Ashram is really a very nice place to sit and to meditate.

  4. stockyards? cmon. what would your explanation be for the horrible bombings in mumbai then? deserved karma?
    anyhow, stockyards (which we haven't had for 50 years) and corrupt politicians (which everyone has only they don't get caught) are everywhere.
    personally, i'm getting tired of the karma excuse.
    unless you were kidding.
    its hard to tell with you.

  5. You can buy meat on line @stockyards.com

    I didn't know Yoga people were big fans of meat?

    Chicago leads the United States in corrupt politicians, just ask the FBI task force.

    Do they plow snow in Chicago anymore, as they continue to raise taxes?

    Fyi, bubbly creek still bubbles.

  6. many yogis eat meat.
    get real.
    so does the rest of the planet.
    don't elevate yourself. u r no better if you eat watermelon in the winter.