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“Oh, the weather outside is frightful…” – but certainly not something to sing about. The chaos of climate change, if that’s what is really going on, shows little sign of settling down and back to what was once called normal. Now that winter is beginning its roar, telling oneself to “Grin and bear it” does nothing to stop one from grinding one’s teeth.

It’s early enough, however, because of lessons learned last winter, to formulate a plan for getting through the onslaught that has already begun – even though winter hasn’t, officially. Short of flying off to Florida or the southwest for the duration, surviving winter in Chicagoland requires forethought and creativity; and that grin mentioned above should hallmark a survivor’s sense of humor.

For starters, learn to love the layered look. Wear your woolies, from underwear to outerwear, flannel shirt, sweater, puffy vest, topcoat, scarf, gloves and hat. Bundle up. Swaddle yourself to keep the warm in and the cold out. Movement may be a problem, and even the right winter footwear will probably complicate matters. Still, one needs to winterize by being winter-wise.

Homeowners, sublet a furnished condominium for the season. Let others do the shoveling and handle the power outages. Enjoy the falling snow by telling yourself the angels are dusting off the stars for the holidays. Enjoy from above a white, bright world seeming more a wonderland than the inside of an undefrosted freezer.

Call Peapod and use collected or online menus to “order out” on a whim.

If you are in any way creative, make an igloo in a neighboring park. Google “build an igloo” to learn how. What better statement might a survivor make?  Of course, some of the layered look may need shedding while working on it. But if the Eskimo people manage in arctic conditions, you can as well.

What matters most, however, is attitude. Chicagolanders know that when it comes to winter, one can either run from it or live through it. Those who choose the latter are either natives or love the challenge of finding fun in frostbite, muscle cramps while shoveling and runny red noses in wind blasts. To go to war against winter here, however, is futile. The only war to be won is within your survivor’s self.

Still, one could do worse than to winter in Chicago. Ask anyone who lives in Buffalo.