When Mother Nature Has Bad Timing

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you are well aware of the Polar Vortex that hit the United States this week. It has been colder—way colder—for almost everybody, even those who live in the south.

In Chicago? This week’s weather could only be described as “cray cray”, truly. On Monday we broke our old record when the thermometer basically hit -17 (and then jumped in its car to drive to Key West). The horrors of this kind of weather are, well, horrible. Here are some really awesome pictures of “Chicago Under Ice”, but as I wrote when I shared it on Facebook, it’s way cooler to look at than experience personally.

Jim and I spent 48 hours doing everything we could to make sure our pipes didn’t freeze. We kept the house at 68 degrees, opened the cabinets below our kitchen and bathroom sinks so the heat from the house could get under there, and put space heaters in front of them as an extra precaution. We were up for much of the two nights because we were worried about the pilot light on the furnace going out or losing electricity (making the furnace quit), and I was mentally in the fetal position, rocking back and forth and hoping that said fifteen-year-old furnace wouldn’t pick the days of the Polar Vortex to bid us adieu.

The desire to have one of us home in case something happened caused me to be in the house for those 48 hours (unlike me, Jim’s job requires him to actually leave the house and although his office closed on Monday, he had to work on Tuesday), and on that second day I couldn’t have gone anywhere anyway because J used my car to get to work. (Don’t get me started on the roads: it’s been plain nerve-wracking, seeing all of the coverage of the accidents resulting from Black Ice.) I missed my Dailey Method workouts (and seeing my workout buddies) for two days. Mentally tragic for me: I need that boost!

Oh, and the snow. Lots of it in a short period of time.

The Polar Vortex actually caused me to have intensely hateful feelings about winter, and living here, for the first time ever.


It’s funny (not really “funny ha ha”, though: the other kind of funny) how I typically adore being home, just not when I’m forced to be home. Then I feel like a caged animal. (It’s a control freak thing.) I actually pressed my face into Jim’s chest at one point and whined, “I don’t think I can do this anymore!!!” It was super-dramatic, almost rivaling the time I exclaimed in an Oscar-worthy moment of intense stress, “I’ve given all I can give!” Granted, I realize it’s first world problems all the way. That said, I think I’m allowed a little self-created drama every now and then.

For me, the Polar Vortex happened at a really bad time. I would have preferred that it had waited for a week or so after the holiday period so that I could have stepped back into my normal routine for a couple of days, but you know that’s crazy talk anyway because it’s not like I have ANY control over Mother Nature or when a Polar Vortex occurs. Gosh though, it would have been nice.

Yesterday, the sun came out.

No, no: not literally. Just in my head. I was positively giddy because I actually got to leave the house. The temperature was up to -2 in the morning and it seemed like the emergency conditions were headed out: temperatures were supposed to rise all day—and did, to a high of about 12. TWELVE! Anyway, I drove verrrry verrrry cautiously to the Dailey Method studio and got my fix, and then I drove verrrry verrrry cautiously home, to get some work done, lead a LISTEN TO YOUR MOTHER webinar, catch up (and laugh) with Liz, have a work meeting (and more than a few laughs while being very serious about work) with Momo, and chat (and laugh) about the show with Tracey. Then I drove verrrry verrrry cautiously to Zumba class in the evening, and picked up dinner on the way home because I was OVER food prep. Yesterday was good. It feels weird to be excited about single digit temperatures but I am, and this weekend we’re having a heat wave: 30s!

Working out, reconnecting with friends, and getting some work done yesterday was good—so good—for my soul after 48 hours of stress and feeling isolated. I am rocking a perma-grin, and I’m thinking that I even forgive Mother Nature a little bit for throwing a wrench into my week because it made me appreciate what I have even more than I already do. There can never be too many reminders about that.


  • Paula @ Frosted Fingers

    At least your boys are older. 3 under 8 that were trapped in the house from Sun-Wed was a nightmare….especially while 9 montha pregnant! Did you see Sunday is supposed to be almost 40?! I feel crazy to ne excited about that! Kids are playing outside this weekend….or I am!

  • Liz

    So glad you are ALL safe. We’re actually going to hit 30 today and then 60 by the weekend, Mother Nature is having hot flashes, here in Jersey.

  • Grandma W

    I am so sorry it has been that cold for you. We also had it very cold for the south it was down to 2 or so but we don’t have pipes as deep as you all so you can say it was just as bad here, we had the faucets dripping so they would not freeze. I hope it is over. Keep warm. Love Grandma W

  • Shannon

    I have never looked so forward to thirty degree temps before in my life. I’m someone who loves to be home A LOT. But coming on the heels of holiday break? Yeah, that was a bit much.
    All this cold is making me itchy.

  • Bonnie

    I loved those pictures…especially the one taken from the air and the bicycle picture. It’s amazing that was one week ago. Thank heavens for our ‘thaw’!!