Friday, February 02, 2007

Chicago Winter Memories

I saw on the News tonight that it was going to be 8 degrees in Chicago tonight. Brrrrrrrrrr!!! Boy, did that bring back a vivid childhood memory of the Windy City!

I don't really remember how old I was when I got to go visit my Grandparents in Chicago one Winter. But I do remember how very cold it was, and how much I enjoyed the snow. It must have been in the 1950's, because I remember being in the Loop, walking down a freezing cold, windy street, in a full skirt with crinolines, which made it stand out. No, it wasn't a poodle skirt, because I never had one of those, but it was that type of skirt. I had what Mama called Snuggies on underneath my skirt. They were basically long cotton underwear cut off above the knees. The reason I remember it so distinctly is that I was so cold that the rough net of the crinolines stung my legs, right through the Snuggies, like millions of little needles. When we got back to their apartment, my upper legs were bright red!! I had never been so cold in my whole life as I was that day.

It's hard to believe that I would have gone out in that kind of weather in anything but pants, but, in those days, girls wore dresses and skirts and blouses - certainly not pants!!

So hearing of an 8 degree Chicago night brings back memories of State Street, Marshall Field's, and the Woolworth's that had an entrance right in the subway station. But most of all, it makes me think of that terribly cold wind blowing off Lake Michigan, and my chapped, stinging legs!!

10 comments:

Sheila said...

DB, it does get cold in Chicago. We have lived again in Alabama for nearly four years and I do not miss one bit the cold winters. We lived there one winter when it was 25 degrees below zero (air temp, not wind chill) and one summer when it was 105 degrees and all of those people died because of the heat. Other than the extremes in temperatures, I love Chicago.

Dirty Butter said...

I remember some summers where it was hotter in Chicago than it was in Alabama! And the temperature can change so quickly, too, depending on whether the wind is blowing from the Lake, or toward it.

Dana said...

The weather up here in Chicago reminds me of Alabama, only more extreme both ways. It gets just as hot, if not hotter sometimes, and it definitely gets colder and for longer. Right now it is only 5 degrees and that is warm considering yesterday it was in the negative digits. Brrrrr.

Dirty Butter said...

Stay warm, Dana. Soon enough, you'll be wishing it were cooler, right? I remember times when the temperature changed 20 degrees in maybe an hour. Chicago weather can be crazy.

Marion said...

Those crinolines weren't much fun in hot weather, either!

I remember a few occasions where I was required to wear one, on what felt like the hottest day of the year, lol, and it itched and burned...it was pure torture!

Dirty Butter said...

Mmmmmmm... I don't remember being uncomfortable in the crinolines, except for that trip to Chicago, Marion. I wore them through my high school years, as I recall. With a pony tail and rolled down bobbie socks, taboot!!!

jan said...

I remember a horrible sunburn (windburn?) I got while we were visiting in Chicago when i was a kid from Indiana. We got to go on a boat that belonged to a friend and were too excited to cover our faces to prevent the redness that come later. I think this must have been in early March.

Dirty Butter said...

Ouch! I imagine it was a combination of wind and sunburn, Jan. No wonder you remember it so well.

sarala said...

Well it's around 27 degrees here now. Rumor has it that it might be below zero in a couple of days. More snow forecasted too.
You mentioned your grandparents lived on Loomis. Do you remember an address or cross street? I'd enjoy swinging by and posting a photo for you. I was on Loomis yesterday just by chance. I posted something on my blog in your honor.

Dirty Butter said...

Sorry it took me so long to read your comment, Sarala. I feel special, having a post "in my honor" LOL!

I do appreciate it, though, and I commented on it, too. Maybe my description will give you enough clues to find their block. Wouldn't that be something to see after all these years??

I'll ask Daddy about the address. He'll probably remember it, as older memories like that are much easier for him to recall that what happened a moment ago.