This Is Why You Plan Ahead

This past Saturday in Chicago, the temperature did not even glance in the direction of “above freezing,” the air was in the teens by the evening, and winds gusted up to 32 miles an hour. Mike and I were out in this, dummies that we are, learning to our horror that neither of us has decent gloves. This winter is starting out worse, it seems, than last year’s ever got, and I’m afraid that it bodes ill for the rest of the season.

The only thing we could do to fend off frostbite (short of running home, which we wound up doing) was to daydream about Argentina. “We’ll be eating outside and swimming and wearing t-shirts and we’ll be so hot and sweltery that we’ll forget what cold even feels like.” Like a magic spell, this kind of talk seemed to protect us, at least momentarily, against the elements.

But then the wind picked up off the lake again and our lips froze shut. But still! For a moment, dreams of rooftop swimming pools and jungle hikes warmed us up.

And that, friends, is why you plan ahead. So you can get through the miserable bits between here and there.