I Love a Thunderstorm. And Tea.

Yesterday, I checked the weather and was a bit boggled to see Chicago was looking at 70F and rainy all day. Boggled and unhappy, to be perfectly honest. I’m not really a fan of 70F in Chicago in November. Makes me worry, a little, that we’re going to have another not winter.

The rain? The rain doesn’t faze me. I admit, I don’t like to be out in it, but that’s mostly because I haven’t yet bought boots to keep my feet dry. I don’t much mind being rained on, though. I’m too much of a desert baby to hate rain. Precipitation. Water.


I may be a desert baby, but I live in a land of (seeming) water excess. Of people I know who grew up in this area, none have ever even thought of things like water rationing or xeriscaping. I’ve winced at the way some people do their dishes due to the water waste. A previous governor of my home state got into a heap of trouble for suggesting Great Lakes water be piped to the American Southwest. Never mind that it’s a ridiculous proposition; the fact that someone so prominent thought to suggest it indicates the perception that the Great Lakes region suffers an excess water.

I couldn’t disagree more. Yes, the great lakes hold a a great deal of water, but there’s no guarantee that water is always there. I spoke to one of “my” farmers, Kenny Stover, at the last market of the season for Federal Plaza, and he said Lake Michigan is 7″ below its long-term average. Some Google searching today confirms the water level is scarily low.

Seven inches gone. Or sixteen inches.

That’s so much water.

I never thought I’d see the day when sitting in my house with a cup of tea and watching a thunderstorm in Chicago is something I appreciate as much as I did doing the same in New Mexico. Even to me, Chicago has seemed like a place of unending water. The past year has made me realize how wrong I was. There’s a potential end here just as much as there’s a potential end in New Mexico.

So, I think I’ll keep being thankful for the rain. And the upcoming snow. I think I’ll keep hoping for a bit more snow than average. Kenny says average by him, up in Michigan, is 80″ of snow, and it’d take 100″ to get his aquifers and such back up to average levels. I’ll hope for that. Maybe more.

And I won’t think about how weird it is for a Chicagoan to hope for a ton of snow. Or maybe I’ll remind myself that maybe a Chicagoan doesn’t hope for a ton of snow, but a New Mexican always does.