There are only two things being reported on the Chicago area news: the revolution in Egypt, and the Storm of The Century in Chicago.
It was not a tempest in a teacup. It was a TEMPEST. Was? Is. It's still carrying on outside, though from my 11th floor condo perspective, things have settled down extraordinarily since last night, when it peaked. Well, I'm not sure I would say it peaked, in the usual sense of a point on a line graph at the top between steep upward and downward slopes. It plateaued, raging unchanged for hours and hours and hours.
We can't say we weren't warned. For the last 48 hours all radio and TV channels trumpeted warnings: The Storm of the Century is coming! The sky is falling! Sixteen to 24 inches of snow! Dangerous gale-force winds! How often this kind of anticipatory hyperbole is deflated when in actuality we manage to pile up 4 or 5 inches of snow. This time, they were right, and the prediction has so far been phenomenally accurate. The winter storm warning went into effect at 3:00 p.m. yesterday, just about the time I arrived home. The president of the organization I work for had sent around an email with subject, "Winter storm event" (so that's it's called!) suggesting people leave while the going was good, and announcing that we are to work from home today, so here I am, signing off the blog momentarily to carry on the good fight.
But before I go, I have to say, I've never experienced anything like last night's storm. The wind coming unimpeded off of Lake Michigan seemed to blast right through my (modern, industrial-strength, double-paned, heavy aluminum-framed) windows at high velocity, making it uncomfortably cold and creepily noisy to sit anywhere near them. Somewhere deep inside my building, a 15-story mid-century mid-rise, something set to vibrating at about the same frequency of a jet flying within hearing range overhead, the oddest, steadiest background hum I've ever heard in the the 23 years I've lived here. The view outside was so whited-out that it wasn't possible to see snow, only occasional long cloud-like streams of scintillating moisture shooting past horizontally against the background glowing gray from the city lights. I kept thinking of the early Arctic explorers, imagining homesteaders in their sod houses on the Dakota plains, stray kittens huddling in alleyways, and above all, Chicago's homeless unwilling to go to shelters. Soon we'll know how many did not survive Chicago's Storm of the Century.
2 days ago