Posts tagged ‘snow’

Crazy Winter Adventures

Take that, Winter!

Figure 1: Take that, Winter! 
So, really, there is only one “Figure.”  Do I just put “Figure”?  That looks weird.

Often I question why I live in Chicagoland, and last week was certainly one of those times. But here I live, and I’ve got a mortgage and some pretty nifty friends and family who are all crazy enough to live here, too, so I plan to make the best of things. That means last week I had to gear up for the cold. Polar cold.

We Illinoisans have been spoiled by some pretty mild winters the last couple years. (I fondly remember hiking without a jacket at Starved Rock — in January!)  So, I’d forgotten what real cold feels like and acts like, and I needed to adjust.  Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday morning were predicted to be wicked cold (in the negatives), and unfortunately, I only got Monday off.  So, I resigned myself to getting prepared, and I had one question:  At what point does my face turn blue and my fingers fall off??  According to the news: within minutes.  So, I geared up. (See Figure 1)

Warm weather checklist:

  • 2 or 3 pairs of socks — including some thermal ones
  • long underwear (top and bottom)
  • heavy sweats
  • T-shirt, long-sleeved shirt, sweatshirt, and jacket
  • gloves
  • scarf
  • hat (with hood up)
  • ninja mask (face mask)
  • tennis shoes (my boots finally just came in the mail, and they are the best thing EVER)

I also made sure I had a sleeping bag, some water, and snacks.

Everything almost went off without a hitch.  The warehouse where I work was actually decently warm.  I was more confident in the snow, managing the skidding and taking things extra slow, especially around the turns and approaching lights and stop signs.  The highway was a mess, but I took the alternate route, and I made it to work without a problem.  I made sure I warmed up my car for 5 minutes during lunch, and everything was going smoothly.

And then Tuesday evening I got into my car, turned the key, got a “vrrp” and then. . . nothing.  I tried again. . . nothing.  I couldn’t believe it.  The one reason I had considered calling in sick — and it had happened to me.  I stilled my mind and worked on the next step.  The maintenance guy.  Find the maintenance guy.  2nd shift was still going, and my friend in maintenance was still in there somewhere.  So, I gave up on my car and went back in to work to find him.  He came back with me, lugging some kind of charger thing and proceeded to hook it up in my trunk. (Yes, my battery is in my trunk).   We waited a little while, and then I tried the ignition again.  Vrrp. . .nothing.

Now I was getting a bit concerned.  He continued to charge the battery and asked to poke around under my hood for  a bit (unsure about my battery really being in the trunk).  Meanwhile, my fingers were starting to get cold — I don’t have heavy duty gloves; Honestly, I try to get away without wearing gloves as much as possible, and I’d go without a coat, too, if I could get away with it! —  and I started worrying that my hands were going to shrivel up and become smurf blue.

I decided it was time to put some metaphysics learning to use.  First, I sent my car light energy.  Then, not sure if sending energy worked for cars, I tried visualization — recreating the sound and feel of the car revving up with confidence and gusto. I then repeated this image a few times in my mind.

I’m not sure if it was the maintenance guy’s gizmo, or the light energy, or the visualization — or all 3 –but when I tried the car the next time, it gave a hearty, unhesitating start, exactly as I’d imagined it.  I thanked my friend profusely and hurried into my car, rubbing my hands together like two sticks making a fire, and I let the car warm up.  “That’s my girl!” I crowed to my metal baby, and I couldn’t wait to get home, kiss the floor, and hug and kiss my honey (maybe not in that order).

And this week I’ve officially become one of those crazy people who thinks 30 degrees is spring weather and goes about willy-nilly without gloves and hat.  But, I mean, can you blame me?  Winter was 50 degrees ago!

Dealing with Severe Weather: A Lesson in Self-Empowerment

Image courtesy of Vlado/

Image courtesy of Vlado/

Today I struggled with whether or not to cancel my tutoring lessons and evening plans.  Could I make it out in this snow?  Was it worth it?  I finally decided that I would take initiative and cancel all of my plans for the day.  I still feel a little guilty for some reason, but these thoughts were helpful in leading me to my decision:

  • Students cancel for various reasons all of the time.  In fact, if I were in the reverse position and were planning on driving to a lesson, I would most likely cancel today.
  • I did leave some homework with two of the students, and I am possibly rescheduling with the third.
  • I can make up the time I intended to spend on transcribing intuitive reports.
  • I can make up the last health class and will begin using the DNA transfiguration meditation today.
  • Our guest teacher in class yesterday spoke on the importance of making a clear commitment, so that you don’t spend a lot of wasteful time in worry.  I waited and didn’t cancel last night because I wanted to be sure, but I could feel the worry rising through my chest this morning.  So, I chose to be decisive and take action.

So, now my question is: What do I do tomorrow?

In the past, my institution decided whether or not I would come in.  As a student, the school decided when conditions were unacceptable.  As a teacher, the same institution made the decisions for me.  But those considerations were made for the children, and I am not a child.  At what point do I decide that work is not worth the risk?

Will my car start?  What will it be like in the warehouse?  I work right against the wall to the outside, beside large delivery doors that open and close during the day.  If it is below zero outside, will it be below zero inside, too?  (I suppose I could ask to move to a different location for the day.)  And will the processors call off?  My job involves checking in the work of others, so if no one is there — there will be no work for me . . .  and I will have to conjure up work to do (which can be maddening).  I also haven’t worked much in the last few weeks, so I feel that I should be getting some work in.  (And will I be penalized for calling off?)

I guess I will prepare for tomorrow as if I am going in and just do the research and be smart about things.

  1. If my car doesn’t start tomorrow morning, my decision will be made for me.
  2. I will need to have a hat, find some decent gloves, and possibly even suit up in long underwear and extra socks.  (I may even try to find my face mask!)
  3. I will make sure to run my car for a while before I drive.
  4. I will keep my phone charged and bring my charger with me.
  5. I will have a sleeping bag or two in the trunk.
  6. I will make sure I have 2 bottles full of water and some snacks.

So, I keep asking myself, “Why-oh-why did my ancestors choose the Chicagoland area??  (Jobs and opportunity, family and community — yes, yes, I know, I know.)   Regardless, I am here for a reason, and I will learn what I can.

How do you deal with the weather? Those of you in warmer climates/seasons, feel free to share your warm-weather woes.


Bah.  I was so excited today because I had some extra time — and I never have extra time on Tuesdays — and then I was lost as to what to do with it.  And so I squandered it.

I didn’t get my snow day today, but I did get a snow afternoon.  Usually I have 3 tutoring students in the afternoon after my day of teaching Spanish.  But I canceled one and was able to keep and push  forward the other session, since I was now home early, and the student meets near my house.

But I couldn’t figure out what to do with myself when I got home.  Normally I come home and immediately tear off my work clothes and throw on some jammies, but I couldn’t do that, since I still had a lesson in an hour.  I felt helpless.  Do I snack?  (Yes.)  Do I write?  (No.)  Do I get some work done? (No.)  Do I do various inane things that I will not even remember hours later when I write the post? (Yes.)

And what also stunk is that I missed karaoke tonight because of the snow.  I LOVE karaoke, but it seemed ridiculous to cancel a tutoring session, only to go trouncing out in the snow later the same evening, throwing caution to the wind.  So, what did I do in place of karaoke tonight?  Sadly, I ended up typed up tutoring lesson summaries and responded to a bunch of work e-mail to parents about corrections and final grades for Spanish.

What the heck? Where was my snow day?  Where was my trade-off?  Why am I a masochist sometimes?

On the upside, I am now pretty caught up with parent e-mails, I am still fairly caught up with grading and planning, and I have a light schedule the rest of the week, since it’s the end of the trimester.  I know that this effort that I put in today will help toward making the rest of the week easier and will help me reach my goal of having more relaxing weekends.

New Dreams

#1 I had another house dream two mornings ago.  I know what that means: I’m going through a change/debating going through a change.   Because I was debating whether to move into the new house.  I came by to check the new place out, and I saw a huge grassy backyard that looked like it had been tilled.  “This is incredible!” I thought.  It will be perfect for the garden we want to have.”  Then, I got confused.  “Wait.  I saw another yard close by.”  Had I gotten confused?  Which yard was really mine?  I found a neighbor and asked, and he said, “Yes, this yard is mine.  I recently worked it.”  I asked to see his house, too, and it was spacious inside.  Bigger than I’d imagined from the outside view.  Looking at my house,  I realized it was almost an exact replica of my parents’ house (surprise, surprise).   I couldn’t believe how similar the two houses were. And my yard was about the size of my parents’ yard, as well.  Fairly small. Overall feeling from this dream?. . . wishing I had the other house.

#2 This morning I had another unpleasant school dream. It started fine.  It was snowing outside, and I had picked the students up from outdoors to bring them in for the day.  “Hey,” I thought to myself, “Why don’t I let the students get some exercise and play time in now, since we’re outside already”  So, they played for a few minutes, and suddenly I remembered that we have specials first thing in the morning.  Quickly, I packed them up and herded them in doors.  On the way in, we encountered the principal, who wanted to take pictures of us.  I waited a minute or so, and then finally asked her if she could photograph us at a later time, since we were running late for specials.  She suddenly turned very serious; she asked me how late we were and started lecturing me on the importance of sticking to a schedule.

Intepretation: My best guess for these  is that 1) I am not giving myself what I want in my life because I’m not paying attention to my true desires or because I don’t think I can get it or deserve it.  As far as the school dream, I’m sure it’s related to current insecurities in my life and workplace.  It could also be related to change.

I was intrigued about the aspect of snow in my second dream.  Winter is over.  I have no particular attachment or attraction to snow anymore, at my age.  This is what had to say:

“To see snow in your dream signifies your inhibitions, unexpressed emotions and feelings of frigidity.  You need to release and express these emotions and inhibitions. Alternatively, snow means that you are feeling indifferent, alone and neglected. . . To dream that you are playing in the snow indicates that you need to set some time for fun and relaxation.  Alternatively, the dream means that you need to take advantage of opportunities that arise; otherwise such opportunities will disappear.”

It all makes sense.  There are some major things going on in my life, and I’m really trying to figure out who I am.  No more school dreams or dreams with death, though, please, subconscious!  Maybe you can find another way of communicating your message to me!


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