Welcome to March in Milwaukee: dreary, wet, snowy, gray, and pretty much just as cold as February. Woohoo. Generally, I'm used to the arrival of my birth month signifying some truly lovely weather--in San Diego it warms up a little in March, and it's sunny and green and people are frolicking excessively. In Wisconsin, March might well be the most detested month of the year. After having been pummeled by Jack friggin Frost for four months, we turn the calendar to March and semi-optimistically check the forecast, thinking, how much longer can this dismal season really persist? Isn't this when it's supposed to get better?? And here's what we see in the 10-day forecast: snow, 20-something degrees, mostly cloudy, snow, sleet, 18 degrees, 'wintry mix,' etc etc. It's not uplifting, to put it mildly. And there is absolutely NO frolicking. On the contrary, even *moving* has become difficult here because streets, sidewalks, and driveways alike have turned into ice rinks that appear fairly sturdy until you step on them trying to reach your car, break through, and end up in four inches of water. Just lovely.
I moved to Milwaukee with low expectations. Early on, this city exceeded them. I vaguely remember green parks, a beautiful endless lake, long sunny days, eating out on restaurant patios, and evening walks with Vinny through the Highlands. Now I realize: the midwest seems almost surreally and unnaturally quaint and lovely for exactly half the year. The other half of the year is a frigid, soggy graveyard where all of our hopes and happinesses lay at rest until....um....I dunno, April? Haven't gotten there yet; I'll let you know when my hopes and happinesses resurrect themselves.
You might think I'm being melodramatic, but everyone else here is, too. This winter has been awful, and no one can seem to complain enough about it. And apparently bad winters come in cycles of three to five years, so if I'm lucky, I'll get three more years of this crap before Matt and I flee to somewhere ridiculously arid, like Arizona, or maybe Texas!! Vinny's voting for Texas, I think. He is absolutely the definition of 'stir crazy' these days.
Here's what currently keeps me going: in a mere two weeks we are going to Belize with Matt's family, and my shrively, grey-ish arms and legs are going to reunite with their old friend: the sun! The anticipation is killing me, but I know it will come quickly. My wildest dreams would come true if, upon our return from the tropical wonderland, we found Milwaukee thawed and green!!!!! I know, I'm destined for disappointment. But at least my parents will be coming to visit us the week after we return, so by the time all the excitement of family and vacations has died down it will be nearly April, and if he weather is still like this in April, I can't guarantee you will be wanting to read this blog anymore.