Did you know that it’s possible to have thunder and lightning during a blizzard? I didn’t. Apparently, it happens. Very rarely but it does, and I had the privilege to experience it. Because I wasn’t one of the people stranded on Lake Shore Drive for eight hours or on the commuter train for 12, I can truly say I enjoyed the snowstorm. I heard the winds howl, rattling the vintage windows in my house, witnessed the white squall and shuddered at the lighting-thunder combo – it really did sound apocalyptic, but it was also exhilarating. Of course my daughter slept through everything.
However, we did make sure she got to experience the aftermath the next day when it finally stopped snowing. The sun was out and so were our neighbors – we’ve never seen that many people gather on our street all at once. Kids made snow forts and tunnels, and the adults elevated their heart rate, shoveling their vehicle out of snow banks as tall as they were.
20 inches of snow but only the third biggest blizzard here in Chicago. The second biggest happened in 1999 with almost 22 inches. I was here for that too. Not too bad for someone who’s only lived here for 12 years. But I didn’t get a snow day then so I was especially grateful to be home with my family this time. It’s Little Miss’ first big blizzard, and she will probably not even remember it. But I will.
I’ll always have the white squall, the ominous thundersnow, the comfort and safety of togetherness, the beauty of our white city, and the girlish giggles of our daughter enthralled by the wonder of snow lodged in a secret, happy corner of my mind. And Little Miss will have these pictures.
Hope you were all safe during the storm. Oh, I feel a little guilty for not going with my original post about Chinese New Year as it is the first day of the Lunar calendar today. I’m sure you can understand how this blizzard may have eclipsed the occasion a tad bit.
Postless, but nonetheless heartfelt: To my dearest friends and family who celebrate, Gong Xi Fa Cai. May the Year of the Hare bring you much love, joy and of course, prosperity.
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Have you ever experienced a freak storm? What was it like for you? Did you ever get to enjoy a snow day (as an adult or a kid)? What’s your most distinct weather-related memory? What are you doing for Chinese New Year?