The polar vortex is just no fun


Oh look, it’s our friend the polar vortex.

Remember a couple of years ago when the polar vortex came down from Canada (thanks, Canada!) and made us feel like living Popsicles? I remember our driveway at home was a solid sheet of ice. It took me ages to chip that stuff off. We have a very long driveway.

Our dogs didn’t want to go outside and do their business, it was so cold. Our furnace, which is not that old, could not keep up with the cold. We had to use extra space heaters near us to keep warm.

This year it is not as bad as that, of course. But we have still had lows in the negative numbers and single digit highs recently. And it looks like it won’t hit the 30-degree mark again for some time yet.

This is the kind of weather that makes no one happy. It is not like it is 32 degrees and snowing that lovely fluffy snow that skiers, snowboarders and people who ride snowmobiles love. Yes, there is snow on the ground but by now it is harder and crustier than a cheap frozen pizza.

This is not “fun” winter weather. This is not the time to teach your kids how to build a snow fort. This is not the time to strap on the old snowshoes and tromp around for a few miles.

No. This is the time to sit inside and finally binge watch “Game of Thrones” (something my wife and I are doing in the evening. I know we are late, and yes, it’s good). This is the time to be glad you are working from home, if you are working from home. Now is the time to wish you were working from home if you are not working from home.

Now is also the time to simply stay inside and wonder why we live in Northern Illinois. We could all be in Arizona, or Florida or even Texas. OK, maybe not Texas, but we could be someplace that is warmer – even Tennessee.

Except that pesky polar vortex decided to move south last week. So, all of your friends or family members who live to the south won’t be quite as smug as they were a couple of weeks ago. The forecast called for ice storms in Texas and Tennessee and very cold temperatures in places like Missouri and Arkansas.

Surprisingly, this comes after one of the warmest Januarys on record in the U.S. You can probably blame me for our current weather, because I was gloating a bit about how this winter was, “not so horrible,” and “doesn’t make me want to run screaming down the street.”

February came in with its good buddy the polar vortex and shut me right up.

My brothers who live in Arizona and California don’t understand why I choose to live here. This time of year I wonder the same thing. When I almost freeze just going out to get the mail, I question my life choices.

The good news is that with the climate changing, it will eventually be great around here in the winter. I read recently that Michigan, Wisconsin and Illinois are seeing winter warming even faster than other states.

That is the good news. That bad news is I will have to live to be about 130 or so to enjoy some warmer January temperatures. Not sure I am going to make it.

For now, it is layers of clothes and mountains of complaints. It is the only way I can make it through this.