When I first moved to Glenview, Illinois, I was excited by the idea of a cold and snowy winter.
Growing up in the deep south, I’d never experienced temperatures below fifty degrees.
I’d never seen snow before. I expected it to be like what I’d seen in movies. The actors are always having a great time in the snow. They rarely wear hats or gloves. They don’t even zip up their coats. I’ve learned that an Illinois winter is very different from that. In Glenview, we get temperatures well into the negatives and it snows for more than half of the year. I would prefer to hide inside the house with the heater blasting for the entire winter. I try not to spend any time outside. Unfortunately, it’s necessary to shovel snow and brush off the car nearly every day. Before heading out the door, I dress in multiple layers of shirts and pants and put on thick socks. I wear heavy boots, a wool coat and knitted hat, scarf and gloves. I wrap the scarf so that it covers almost my whole face. Any exposed skin is at risk of frostbite. Despite temperatures down to negative twenty-five, I sweat while I shovel snow. It’s a very labor-intensive and exhausting job. The snow is wet and heavy, and there’s no good place to put it. Along with dealing with endless snowfall, there’s also a problem with ice. Icy pavement is dangerous. It’s extremely easy to slip, fall and get hurt. The ice on the windshield of the car needs to be either scraped or thawed by running the defrost for fifteen minutes. The icicles hanging from the roof of the house get so big that they cause damage and present a safety risk.