Thatâ€™s not a rhetorical question. There are many, many, many reasons why I love Milwaukee, and why I started OnMilwaukee.com in 1998. But itâ€™s the end of March, and the temperature is hovering around freezing.
Iâ€™m seriously wondering why we live here.
Maybe Iâ€™m asking this because I just returned from Phoenix last week, where it was sunny and in the high 80s. Of course, Phoenix in the summer is a different beast entirely, but I have to question our ancestorsâ€™ logic in choosing Milwaukee.
Did they arrive in summer, set down roots and think that first winter was just a fluke? How about the second? Or the 50th?
Iâ€™m kidding a little bit. I know that many of the settlers came from similarly cold climates in Europe. I know that they sailed down the Great Lakes until they stopped in Milwaukee. I know the land is rich and fertile and provided numerous opportunities for industry and commerce.
Iâ€™m just a little surprised they didnâ€™t keep going.
Or why did my great-great grandparents pick Milwaukee? Sure, the climate mightâ€™ve felt a lot like Belarus and Russia, but werenâ€™t my ancestors complaining about the long, cold winter, too? If I were to emigrate to a far-off land, one in which I didnâ€™t know the language or had any family, I think I wouldâ€™ve headed a little farther south. Itâ€™s not like people back then didnâ€™t realize the south equals warm and north equals cold.
Even still, that was 100 years ago. Iâ€™m surprised that my grandparents or my parents didnâ€™t pick somewhere warmer.
That leaves only me to blame. I lived somewhere hot once. I went to college in Washington, D.C., where it rarely dropped below freezing. Right now, people are probably wearing shorts and jogging around the National Mall. I used to do that, too.
But I picked Milwaukee. On my own free will. Am I crazy? Are we all crazy?
I donâ€™t think so. Thereâ€™s only a period of about 45 days each year that I hate it here. It starts in early February and ends right about now. Thatâ€™s when winter gets really, really old. But itâ€™s fleeting.
I tell people I love our seasons, you probably do, too. Thatâ€™s mostly true. If spring could come just a little earlier, youâ€™d never hear me complain.
But this. This ... is tough. I hope that someday, Iâ€™m a snowbird. One of those people who gets out of town for this 45-day span. That would solve everything, right?
Hope does spring eternal. It just canâ€™t come soon enough.
I have a friend whose job sent him on a trip to Tempe, AZ, recently. He proceeded to call me at 8am one day as I drove behind a city salt truck to tell me that it was sunny and a beautiful 74 degrees already out there. And that it was a dry heat. Bastard.
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