2 minute read

IGNITE March 2019

Take time out to enjoy our four seasons

This winter has been one of the worst we’ve seen in years. I’m not basing that on any actual data, but I’ve lived in the Midwest my entire life, and this certainly seems like the worst. We had more than one day where the HIGH was in the negatives, the city seemed to turn into a giant ice rink for a week or so, and the schools were closed for so many days that they may have to extend classes halfway into summer. This is the time of year that people often ask, “why do I live here?”

Hopefully, we have made it through the worst of it, and we will all be rewarded with a beautiful spring. But, just in case Mother Nature decides to defy that psychic groundhog (or just to keep in your back pocket for next year), here are some tips on getting through these wonderful Midwest winters.

Embrace the Winter

I know that winter is the time people like to hibernate and pretend the outside world doesn’t exist, but, there really are a lot of great things that happen in winter that you would miss out on if you lived somewhere where it never got cold. As long as you have a good coat (and if you’re living with Rockford, you really should invest in a good coat), you can still brave the outdoors, even if only for the time it takes you to run from your house to your car.

But, where to go once you make it to your car (and hopefully get it to start)? You could watch the next great hockey star lead the IceHogs to victory, head to Alpine Hills Adventure Park for some tubing or snowboarding, or if you’re really brave, take a day trip to Chestnut Mountain or Devil’s Head for some skiing.

Not into winter sports? Visit one of our great museums, try out one of the delicious new restaurants in town or visit an old favorite. If you’re not up for venturing out of your house at all, invite some friends over for dinner or a game night. That way you get to socialize with other humans while staying safely in the warmth of your own home! No matter what appeals to you most, the important thing is to not let the cold weather make you miserable; get out and find the joy in the winter season.

Fantasize About All the Great Things You’ll Do This Summer

If the idea of braving the outdoors still doesn’t appeal to you, try to pass the winter by planning for all the great things Rockford has to offer once the snow melts. Start training to run the 5K at Meltfest, which will be here before you know it. Start designing your raft for the Anything That Floats race or figure out when your favorite local musicians are playing at Anderson Gardens, Dinner on the Dock or Sinnissippi Park. Plot out your favorite hiking trails at Rock Cut. For the young professionals out there, start gathering the best possible competitors for your Ignite Cup team. By the time you plan out everything you want to do this summer, it’ll be time to start enjoying it!

Remember Most Warm Places Aren’t Always So Great Either

If none of that convinces you, and you’re still thinking of running off to live somewhere that never snows, just keep in mind that California has earthquakes, Florida has alligators and the average temperature in Arizona in July is between 104 and 107 degrees. Just remember, you can always put on more layers to keep warm, but there are only so many layers you can take off!

Kimberly Thielbar is Reach Committee co-chair and an attorney at Prairie State Legal Services.
The views expressed are those of Thielbar’s and do not necessarily represent those of the Rockford Chamber of Commerce.