Planning to Flee
View of some windows, Metra Platform, circa 8:30 AM.
There’s a big drop in temperature expected in Chicago, and Liz and I decided we’re not sticking around for it. Though we’ve made good progress on insulating our house, the super low temperatures we’re going to get will make it incredibly difficult to stay.
Our work on the house has helped with the cold. In the past, it got uncomfortable when it dropped below 20, and we struggled with the heat maxing out at around 55 at times. Anymore, we’re good to about 0, and when it gets into negative degrees (actual temp), only then does it start to get a little uncomfortable.
With lows in the -20s and highs in the negative teens, we thought it would be best (and safer) to take Bob and Julie on their offer to let us relocate to Valparaiso.
In terms of what I think is reasonable, I feel like a -20 (with wind chill) is a cold Chicago day. It’s on the far edge of acceptable, but you bundle up and you still do your thing. Because it’s winter. And you decided to live in Chicago.
Anything more than that, when you start getting to -25 or less with wind chill… I feel like that’s where it seems reasonable that places start closing early, or shutting down. But for me it’s been a long time… frankly I don’t even know that I remember when actual temps get to -20. And I really don’t remember hearing about wind chills in the negative 40’s/50’s. That’s just crazy to me.
Tuesday morning, the cold started a bit. But given our plans, I left work early and got some groceries on the way home (remarkably, everyone seemed pretty calm about things, circa 4PM). In the evening, Bob was over and we shut down all the water, Liz poured antifreeze in all the traps (sinks/bathtub/toilet), we turned off the upstairs furnace, kept the lower furnace at 65… and literally fled the city.
DePaul is closed until Friday, and I have the luxury of working remotely – so everything works out on that front. Very lucky to have a nearby place of refuge, to hide out until the cold passes.