We’d been warned, of course. “Just wait,” we’d heard. “Winters here are brutal.”

So it happened; winter started today. I awoke to my usual news station: sections of I-90 closed; schools closed across the state, from Rapid City on the west to us, Sioux Falls, on the east. All schools, I think, but my grandchildren’s’ that has only closed once in their few years of attendance.

So I get out of bed, peek out my wooden blinds, see white. I open our front door, take pictures.

View from front door

View from front door

I send to our former owners who moved south. Want them to know what they’re missing. Get reply that they’ll send me photos of their first snowstorm.

I feel their glee.

Winds bend my grasses nearly 45 degrees, winds worse than anything I’ve seen in Chicago…30-40 mph, no high rises to cut their whip-lashing strength.

View from back door

View from back door

The mid-60s temps of a few days ago, gone. Now 30. Snow to fly till mid-afternoon.

No fitness center today; no meet up with my daughter; no chat during our walk; no chai at the bistro. No high ceilings, bright lights, young bodies sweating.

Marv and I are snowbound. I decide we can’t work amiably in our joint study. Best to suffer claustrophobia separately. Right now, we both miss Chicago; we need to hit Michigan Ave, go to Starbuck’s or Peet’s, our usual snowstorm hangouts, or go anywhere but here, stranded in brutal (but beautiful!) South Dakota whiteness.

View from side window

View from side window

I hang out on the couch. Read “Uncle Tom’s Cabin.” Missed it when I was young. And I thought that would cheer me up? No.

But we don’t dare try to get out. Being advised to stay in if we can. We’re retired; we can…supposedly. But who wants to? The more you know you can’t, the more you want to. Isn’t that Murphy’s law or something?

We’re stuck. Streets not plowed; driveway not plowed; sidewalk not shoveled. We don’t even own a shovel; we didn’t need a shovel in our Chicago high rise.

Late afternoon, Marv plods to get the mail, a much more dangerous trip than taking an elevator to our former first floor mail room.

No mailbox on first floor anymore--

No mailbox on first floor anymore–

He delivers our neighbor’s mail; she is going OUT tonight! He asks me, “What is going on at the Washington Pavilion tonight?”

Too late for tonight, but I see the South Dakota Symphony Orchestra has a concert tomorrow. I’m lonely, suddenly, for my Chicago Symphony Orchestra, for Maestro Muti, for my symphony friend.

He suggests we go. No hesitation! I buy tickets. Half the cost of Chicago’s. A reminder–many pluses here in Sioux Falls.

We watch evening news; we watch Charlie Rose. He goes to bed–he’s had a busy day at the computer; I’m wide awake from my novel.

Wait! What do I hear? Snow plows! On my street. And it’s only 9:00 p.m. Want to  meet me at Starbucks? Please? 57th and Western. See you there!