On White Stuff.

Credit: Chicago Tribune archive photo.
A shot of the aftermath of the Chicago snowstorm of ’67. ¬†They got 23 inches in 35 hours. (c) Chicago Tribune archive photo.

I live downtown on the sixteenth floor of a mid-rise building. I have a south-facing wall and that wall has five windows: two of them are in my bedroom, the other three line up in the main room. I’m not surrounded by skyscrapers, thankfully, so from my perch, I can see Chicago for miles. Sometimes, I’ll bet you I can see clear to Indiana, all the way to those fruited plains. I don’t see the actual sun rise (being that I’m looking south and all) but of course I get the slowly strengthening light. I wake up quite early to catch this; it’s my favorite time of day. I make my tea, read one of the three things I have going, and write in my journal. I take from 90 minutes to two hours to do this every day, come rain, shine, or — wait for it — snow.

It’s been sifting down for hours. Every so often the white stops to catch its breath and then starts up again, and it was the same pattern a few days ago. It’s winter in the midwest.

The town I love is quiet. I look down on the street and no one is out. I look across the tops of the buildings and see white billows of steam from the heating systems working in overdrive because it’s not just snowing here: it’s cold. We’ll have temperatures back in the minuses the next few days and when it’s this bad, I think about the homeless people who will die this winter. Macabre, sure. Also true. Sometimes it’s hard to know what to do in the world.

To the couch. To the books. It’s Sunday and it’s a blizzard. I may have to venture down to the 7-Eleven for milk and chocolate later, but that’s later. For now, it’s time to hunker down and enjoy one of the many quilts I have made. I have quite a selection and I do believe they were made for this.

I’ll pick my favorite of all. It’s called “Whisper,” and it’s white.