Monday, April 5, 2010

Why I live in Illinois

If I had a nickel for every time my "friends in warmer climates" asked me, "Why do you live in Illinois?" I'd be a rich woman.

It's days like this one. And yesterday. Oh, and tomorrow.

This high-60's, mid-70's air, light breeze, sunny skies... birds chirping, trees budding and grass greening up. Yeah, OK, there's an occasional thunderstorm, hail, and perhaps a tornado or two, but that's just a reminder that Spring has sprung.

You may have these balmy days further south, or west, but I bet you don't appreciate them quite as much.

Yes, we Illinoisans - and many of our Midwest neighbors - have put up with the drudgery of the past five or six months. You warmer state inhabitants make fun of us when you see us getting dumped on with another snowstorm. You wonder how we survive with days upon days of frigid temperatures. And don't think we don't see you laugh at our seasonal affective disorder that results from endless weeks without that big yellow ball in the sky. We get it.

But what I bet you don't get is the appreciation we have for these days. This day. The day we put the screens back in the windows and leave the front door open all day. The day we kick the kids outside and go out ourselves and clean up what winter has done to our yards. The day we pump up the bike tires, wash the car by hand, and reattach the hoses to their spigots. The day we go for a walk, and marvel that the seasons have finally come full circle again.

We appreciate these days - and the ones that will come after them - because we don't really get used to them. We have winter's impending wrath as that constant reminder that days like these should be savored. So we do it.

So laugh if you will, my relentlessly warm-weathered friends. We've paid our dues, and earned our weather.

Carpe diem!

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