This is a Highland Park winter of yore, as they were in my youth, when the snow arrives early in winter and stays around til spring. Walking my dog every day, we have grown accustomed to navigating the snow lanes, formerly called sidewalks, that, in places are blocked by the snow mountains left by a driveway plow operators who seem to believe they have a duty to make an obstacle course of Olympics proportion.
The snow banks on either side of the snow lanes condense in height every few days, only to be replaced with fresh layers of new powder. All the snow banks are now taller than my 50 pound border collie/Australian Cattle Dog mix known as Jake. He has enjoyed this very much, as there are now layers upon layers of yellow snow preserved for revisiting. Each layer is now quite familiar to him because they simply do not melt away. Of course, I enjoy this less because he now needs to stop, read the news, and make a reply with greater frequency.
Back to the icicles. Have you taken your photos of the icicles hanging from your home yet? Now's the time! Or do you have favorites that hang on your neighbors home? As we walk the neighborhood, I find myself evaluating the impact of the icicles on the esthetics of homes. Some of the icicle patterns have a way of warming up the charm of the home, transforming it into a cottage that must certainly have a warm fire inside, as well as a comfy sofa and warm soup on the stove. Other icicles are simply threatening and look like an accident waiting to happen.
While icicles can be considered nature’s artwork, they are also significant safety issues to structures and people. Just like the tall buildings in Chicago which warn “Danger: Falling Ice,” you’d be well advised to inspect your home to ensure that no shards are over your entryways, aiming at your windows or capable of injuring your family or guests. Your dogs and cats, too, should be supervised as to where they play by the sides of the home until after these blades separate and roof is disarmed. The ice melt will be happening soon.
People of a certain age will remember the TV show Northern Exposure, a wonderful, creative and vibrant show that made us belly laugh for many seasons. Highland Park can be proud that one of its own, Jeff Melvoin, a HPHS graduate, wrote many of the episodes (most recently he has been the Executive Producer of Army Wives). Of course, Jeff wrote my favorites. Yet, one other has always stood out, known as “Spring Break.” The summary for this episode is “Temporary madness sweeps through Cicely as the townsfolk await the ice meltdown and the arrival of spring.” Cicely was a town in Alaska, not unlike how it feels in Highland Park recently.
This weather has been a challenge for all of us. Are you waiting with great anticipation for “Spring Break” – the big ice melt? Be of good courage, we’re nearly there. We’re having a heat wave today – expecting 23°F. The 10 day forecast says next Monday the maximum temperatures will creep up over freezing with several days following that over 46°F.
Will you miss the icicles, the snow, this winter? I, for one, will miss the cozy look of my home in winter, bedecked in ice. Just won't miss the heating bills. Here's hoping we enjoy the "Spring Break!"