This winter has been long and painful. Nothing like a nice Polar Vortex to start things off, followed by some really friggin’ cold weather and a whole bunch of snow… that began melting and has now turned into solid ice. The upside of all this cold it that it has afforded me the opportunity to capture some really amazing sunrise photos for you to enjoy. I live in Chicago and the body of ice in the photo is Lake Michigan. The beauty of this image takes the icy edge off the frigid air. Just a note, the lines in the lake are not waves; rather it is all ice and snow. Enjoy!
Sometimes (ok, maybe often) I write about things that are wrong in the world that I want to see changed to make it a better place. However, there are some awesome things that are so right with the world that are worth appreciating. With the terrible weather we’ve been experiencing lately it can be difficult to stay positive which is why a reminder to stay positive and thankful is long overdue. As I right this, the five day forecast includes highs around 50 F and rain, rain, rain. There isn’t a nice day in sight as far as I can tell. And last week was all doom and gloom and rain, also.
This brings me to whiskey and cigars. When the sky is that dreary gray color and the clouds and rain haven’t let up in days, there is nothing better than enjoying the complexity of flavors in a delicious scotch or well made bourbon. Enjoy it however you like (neat, rocks, a splash of soda), but enjoy it. Cigars offer a nice compliment to the whiskey. If you can stand outside and hear the patter of the rain (while staying dry, of course) it can be quite pleasing to slowly enjoy a cigar and some good whiskey. Savor the flavors and think back to a simpler time or to the last time the weather wasn’t so soul crushingly bleak.
On these particular cloudy, rainy, and cold spring days I also really enjoy forcing myself to become immersed in a work of fiction (as opposed to watching TV). It pairs well with the aforementioned whiskey, and also a good meal or a quiet spot in the local public house, if you feel the need to move out of your home to a different four walled spot with a bit more activity.
I live in the quiet little Chicago neighborhood of Buena Park. Here we are fortunate enough to have a library directly across the street from my favorite bar (that boasts over 130 different whiskeys on hand…). After a long rainy day there’s nothing better than picking out a good book at the library and walking over to the bar to enjoy a delicious burger ($4 on Monday’s), sitting on the couch or big comfy chair in the corner, and sipping on a well crafted piece of art while being immersed in a fictional world. It’s one of my favorite ways to escape reality and enjoy it at the same time. Sure I’d rather be out riding my bike in good weather or spending the day at the beach or doing something active outside, but its these rainy days of spring that we have to endure before the fun in the sun can happen. And for me there’s no better way to enjoy that than with a few real world pleasures and some creature comforts.
On the walk home at night there’s one special scene that these rainy days treat us to and that’s the picturesque environment created by the water reflecting the orange/gold glow of the street lights. A row of street lights casts out a particular hue that is reflected and refracted by the rain and puddles that change the very appearance of whichever street you happen to be walking down. It takes on a lively, almost an otherworldly appearance that reminds me of something out of a movie. Maybe the streets of Victoria era London or something of that nature. It’s just kind of cool to look around for a minute and see the world a little bit differently. Even if it is uncomfortable outside.
I’m interested in how you enjoy the cold, rainy spring days that precede freedom of the delightful summertime. Leave your ideas in the comments. We read every one.