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Vintage Olds 442, circa mid60's to early 70's.  This is what your writer learned to drive in.  No, our's didn't have the racing stripes nor was it blue; our beauty was cream with red trim, and quite possibly not a convertible.  Yours truly can't recall; other old cars were. The point is that to learn to drive on a machine as lively and fun as this, and to, today, hate driving.  Well, that's got to say something.

Vintage Olds 442, circa mid 60’s to early 70’s. This is what your writer learned to drive in. Our 442 didn’t have hood stripes nor was it blue; our beauty was cream colored with red trim. The point is that to learn to drive on a machine as lively and fun as this, and to, today, hate driving–well, that’s got to say something.

Israeli ground troops invade Gaza, planes are shot down over Ukraine, global temps are rising. And what pulls me to my blog in many months?

Driving. That’s right: how drivers, here outside Chicago, are driving.

War, planes demolished, environmental catastrophe are things we’ve heard before, many times. The aggressive, pushy, “me first! me first!” style of driving that so many of us have adopted scares me more.

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Yes, it’s cold.  My car just registered 2 degrees.  Came in and a doctor was on the radio warning everyone to be very careful, and ‘stay inside, stay inside’.  A now-familiar litany to those of us in the Midwest.

The schools, again, are shut down, and few are out and about.

Why?

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Hard to believe, here in the Great Lakes region of the Midwest, that we are still in January. Wintery cold, snow, and darkness descended in November, quite a while ago. And I love snow! But even cold and snow-lovers agree: this winter is proving a challenge. Sights like this help us keep faith: winter will end (eventually) and spring WILL arrive.

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Perfection! Amaryllis variety “amorice”, courtesy of Whiteflower Farm nursery of Connecticut. What a welcome sight on a sub-zero morning in January here in the Midwest.

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Three friends of winter: in Asian tradition, the pine, bamboo, and plum are considered friends of winter because they do not whither even in the deepest cold. Here, in the northern latitudes of North America, Arborvitae, a member of the cypress family, remains green and hardy deep into the cold of January. What a welcome sight on dark afternoons!

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…you find yourself vowing to never again complain that it’s “only” 15 degrees out; after all it’s now 10 below zero, a full 25 degrees colder. What a wuss you were before!

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…you leave a cafe two hours after entering it, and are relieved to find that the temperature your frigid car is registering is a mere 1 degree colder than it was when you entered; that is 10 degrees below zero now compared to 9 degrees below zero before. It could be worse!

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