I went to Chicago the other day to see my daughter perform in a musical.  Her first as a professional actor, which was pretty cool.

It was already winter there.  Flakes of snow spit from gray clouds and mildly accumulated on the sidewalks, roofs, and car handles of the city.  Trees planted in sidewalk squares were sparsely leafed and slowly being covered over in white.

We were able to walk around a bit in the city and explore the concrete forest.  Found a cool breakfast place and quaint pub for the evening.  People we met and talked to in the city were friendly and, while more reserved,  a little more genuine than in other big cities I’ve spent time in.  It’s still a midwestern town at its heart.  There are a hundred neighborhoods and street corners with interesting places to go.

However, the cold.

It is real winter in Chicago.  It comes early and you feel it in your bones.  Harder and harder to accept as you age.  Discussions about heading south are on the rise each year in our household.  But I try to keep a reasonable perspective.

When you see this on the shore from the railing of your ship, you might be in your own version of Chicago Winter.

But it’s still ok to take a walk, and see what you can find.  You just have to prepare a little harder.

And if you are open to it, you can find things of unique beauty.

Though they may be fleeting, they can be amazing while they last.

If all of that doesn’t work for you, stay inside, keep warm in your favorite spot, and curl up with a good book.

After all, winter doesn’t last all year.  Even in Chicago.