This time of year here in Chicago, we take beauty wherever we can find it. Two days ago it was absolutely beautiful so I decided to treat myself to a rare visit to our local forest preserve. Admittedly this is a very rare treat with the cost of gas being prohibitive. It was a bright sunny day…one of the few gorgeous Midwestern late-autumn days of 2011. (That’s right Winter doesn’t actually arrive until December 22). I needed a reminder that Chicago-land is not all concrete and glass. In this part of the country, the weather can be somewhat fickle and you want to enjoy it when you can. I spent a simply awesome afternoon enjoying one of the finest fall days of the season. Come with me…
But don’t be fooled. Winter is coming. Today, December 3rd, we have what I’ve come to call a Chicago-kinda-day…It’s a balmy 47 degrees, gray and rainy. Not the kind of day you particularly want to be out and about. But I braved the weather anyway. This time, I decided to stay closer to home…and went just 3 blocks…when what to my wondering eyes did appear an entirely different scene …it’s actually beginning to look a lot like Christmas. Oak Park has put on a magnificent display this year.
The shopping district near Lake and Harlem this year is ready for the Christmas season with delightful displays of Gingerbread Men lining both sides of the street. Although winter is still 19 days away, Oak Park is certainly ready and local shoppers are reminded that Christmas is just around the corner. The snow on those trees is artificial but it’s just a matter of time before those whimsical displays are covered with the real stuff.
There’s considerable discussion about what the weather will bring our way this year. We remember very well last year’s blizzard that dumped as much as 20″ on us. Farmers Almanac suggests that we may well have a fairly mild winter this year. I hope so. (Sorry guys, I don’t share your enthusiasm for Midwestern winters.) Be that as it may. Whatever comes our way, I encourage you to take advantage of any opportunities to enjoy the best of the season. It’s the best way for city-slickers living in condominiums to avoid cabin fever.