Wednesday, November 16, 2005

(this post is dedicated to commenters no. 6 & 7 from the previous post)

Hey you! I know you love the Midwest. I know that you are not living here for reasons that have nothing to do with your feelings for this place. But come on, surely you do not miss days like today! Read on:

This morning it is confirmed. What touched my face with wet slobberishness late last night turned into an icy cold dusting of snow this morning.

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Some people, whom I have heretofore considered reasonable human beings, actually claim a fondness for this shift in climate (from nice to awful). I sort of don’t believe them. Show your love! Join me out there in barren expanse of snow, ice and frozen earth!

And yet, and yet, I want to challenge myself. I have time. The Torts class doesn’t convene until noon. I am going to peddle my way to the countryside! Mr. B, you and I are going to love this Wisconsin blast of cold air if it kills us!

It nearly does. The temperature is hovering around twenty, the windchill is in the single digits or less. There are icy patches on the road and the wind is kicking up a nice 30 mph gust as I push against it, heading south.

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(on Lake Monona, looking bewildered by the sudden freeze)

First, my nose disappears off my face. I can’t feel it, so it must be gone. Then my fingers, wrapped in Austrian leather (you guys mustn’t get the winters we do, is all I can say), freeze lovingly around the B. handlebars.

Ten minutes into the ride I do a nice 180 degree turn and head back toward the Square.

What I need is not a one-on-one with nature, but a one-on-one with a warm café. Preferably a welcoming space, painted in golden yellow tones. With gorgeous warm burgundy throw pillows. And a copper bar. Oh and please, find me a place with beautiful photos hung on the walls. A family-run café, where I can give the owners a hello kiss, because, you know, that’s how it’s done in glowing places where the espresso rocks and the croissants rule. Just one more request – a name that warms my soul on this cold November day.

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Cafe Soleil

I am filled with love and good will. My adorable Torts class needs a pick-me-up as much as I do: load up the boxes with croissants, brioche, and chocolate squares.

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Later in the afternoon, I set out home. Mr. B is grunting at me. Yesterday rain, today snow. I can hardly push him against the strong winds. I am undaunted: you will make it, so will I. You’re tougher than tough. Me, I’m just plain tough.

But I know our limits. I do want to see the fields dusted with snow. I want to take a look at the dogwoods and birches against the fresh powder coating the ground. But let’s be real here. I like the feel of my nose and fingers. I am resigned. I leave Mr. B at the loft, dust off the car keys and head out.

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construction workers, heading home

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outside the city: less snow, serene landscapes