John has shared some of the trials and tribulations of being a homeowner in the suburbs of Chicago during our recent blizzard. Snow shoveling and snow blowing is tough duty.
I did the piece Snow Shoveling is Dangerous nearly a month before the blizzard, during the East Coast snow siege. As a matter of fact snow shoveling can kill you. We have had nine deaths in the Chicago area from the blizzard with three directly attributable to shoveling snow.
As I live downtown in a condo building snow shoveling exists mostly in my past. A few years ago I was visiting my daughter in New Jersey when there was a huge snowfall. My ex was out of town, but she had let me stay at her house, so I dutifully shoveled her sidewalk and driveway. I was very fortunate not to become a casualty of the snow myself as I was in wretched condition at the time. Sore for days afterward. I didn’t follow any of the tips in my January 11 blog item.
The latest snow impacted me in several ways. Clearly, I can not ride my bicycle on snow-covered paths and streets. That is always disappointing.
There is the health club in my building. I have used that for several days now. The day after the blizzard I saw a lot of my neighbors working out at 11:00 a.m. Usually I have the place to myself at that hour, but the blizzard pretty much shut down the city and most folks didn’t or couldn’t go in to work.
The weather forecast said sub zero temps were coming on the heels of the blizzard, so I expected to be apartment-bound for a while. I wanted some exercise, but had had enough of the health club. A nice winter walk seemed like a good idea. It would be interesting to get a look at the usually bustling Michigan Ave. and downtown area.
It was exciting to see Jim Cantore of The Weather Channel doing his thing on Michigan Avenue not a mile from my apartment.
He was almost alone there. The street had been plowed and salted, but very few people braved the winter winds. Even worse most of the stores could not open as employees were not able to get to work. The empty avenue looked surreal.
On the way home, I cut through an office building with a food court. Most of the places hadn’t been able to open, but Sbarro, the Italian Eatery made it. It looked like an oasis in the desert to me after my walk. I love their pizza, so I stopped for a bite.
All tolled, I had an interesting experience. I walked about two miles up the avenue then back to my place. It was really very pleasant to be out in the air despite Jack Frost nipping at my nose. I think it was much healthier for my body and mind to walk outdoors than simply to grind it out on the treadmill. I found more of my senses engaged, sight, hearing, even smell (not to mention taste at Sbarro). The health club would have been antiseptic by comparison. Pleasantly warm, but otherwise sterile.
I was very glad to have ventured out.