Tag Archives: i hate winter

View from the Porch – Oddly Quiet and did I Mention I’ve been Looking for Work?

Don’t even try talking to me before I’ve sucked down a couple of cups of coffee. Coffee must be sucked down while I’m out on the front porch, with a cheap cigar.

The wind has died down and the birds are out in numbers, but they are oddly quiet. Only one lone goose down on the river honking and a woodpecker in the tree in front of my house banging away. Not sure the woodpecker banging counts as a bird song of any kind.

Quite a few cardinals flying around and a number of other birds are out scrounging for seeds, but they are all quiet. The birds must not like the cold much and it seems to hinder their desire to sing. Can’t blame them. I’m not all that happy with the cold either.

I live on the edge of a cold depression that exists to the west of Aurora. Tom Skilling the Weather God mentions it often. Consistently the coldest spot in the Chicago area. At 7:00 AM it’s supposedly only eight degrees out there and my toes can attest to that.

Nothing else is out there moving around. I think it will take another hour or two before the squirrels bother coming around for their morning peanuts. I’ve noticed they like to crawl out of their nests and holes and sit in the sun for awhile before moving around. Much like me really.

I may have to force myself to get out and about today even if it’s sitting behind the wheel of my car, in it’s warmth and cruising around. If all goes well, I might be back at work soon and doing these Views from the Porch will pretty much come to an end. Hanging out watching the world around me during the day will end too. Work begats money which allows me to pay for a certain amount of stuff, but I don’t need much stuff. I should probably be grateful if the work does come through, but I’m not quite sure what to be grateful about.

In my world, hanging out watching the world around me during the day is much better use of my time. Gives me something to talk about with others. My wife has always noticed that when I am working, I never talk about work. I work, every week or two I’m given some money, what’s there to talk about?

Thanks for the money, I guess.

View from the Porch – Nearly Fifty Three Years of Hating Winter

Don’t even try talking to me before I’ve sucked down a couple of cups of coffee. Coffee must be sucked down while I’m out on the front porch, with a cheap cigar.

My first memory of winter, I had to be four years old.

There were five of us living in a one bedroom apartment, the front half of a converted attic. What parents in their right mind wanted three rambunctious kids, thirteen months apart in age, sitting around a three room apartment on any given day. I recall practically living on the streets and in the alleys.

One winter day I found myself out on the front porch. The porch was about seven feet in each direction. Low side walls made of brick, brick columns holding up the front of the small roof. I was dressed for winter. Hood of my heavy coat pulled over my head and scarf wrapped around so only my eyes peered out. I remember looking at my hands, thick mittens. On my feet were buckle up galoshes, my pants were tucked into them. It was usually just gym shoes inside the galoshes.

I couldn’t see across the street, the snow was coming down hard and the wind was blowing it sideways. The porch offered no cover from this storm, small drifts were collecting against the low side walls.

I remember standing perfectly still, staring straight ahead, my arms perfectly straight against my sides and thinking, “I hate winter.”

A few days shy of fifty three years later and I’m out on my front porch. Heavy coat on with hood pulled over my head. I don’t do scarves any more. Gloves on, I hate mittens, that are rated to be good to below freezing. Slippers on my feet.

In my left hand is coffee, my right hand, the first cheap cigar of the day. A ritual I choose not to live without.

The wind is howling, but luckily no snow falling from the sky or on the ground. For as far as I can see, from the sky to the ground, nothing but varying shades of brown and gray. It’s just ugly.

I stand perfectly still except for the lifting of one arm to suck down coffee and the lifting of the other to suck in smoke and I’m thinking, “I hate winter.”

The coffee cup is empty, the cigar butt is tossed on the lawn. I turn and go back into the house.

A few days shy of fifty three years later, at least I have that option.