Sunday, May 11, 2014

A chilling post

Finally getting around to writing another post. 

Last post was in January and we were just getting into winter, now that it's over (supposedly) we have many snowy pictures and interesting Chicago winter facts. Here are four facts about Winter 2014: 

Fact Number 1: Winter 2013-2014 was the COLDEST and most SNOWIEST winter this Visser family had ever experienced 

Fact Number 2: Chicago had the THIRD snowiest winter in recorded history
-- From a new report: "...bringing the total for this snow season to an even 82 inches. That's just shy of the 82.3 inches that made the winter of 1977-1978 the city's second snowiest on record. The record remains 89.7 inches in 1978-79."

Fact Number 3: The "average temperature between December and March was a record-setting 22 degrees, just below the 22.3 degree average in 1903-04.
Here are the top three:
1. 22.0 2013-14
2. 22.3 1903-04
3. 22.5 1977-78"
Fact Number 4: People in our neighborhood (not all of Chicago) save parking spots.  The slang for this action is DIBS. 
- They scrape their cars out from under the snow, and then place a chair, or some other object, in the cleared spot to save it. You know, since they did all the work to clear the spot, it should be their's for the duration of winter. 
- The reason dibs works, is because everyone knows that if you move a chair to park your car in that nice cleared out spot - be ready for your tires to be slashed or worse! 
- A co-worker of mine who lives in the neighborhood once rubbed dog feces all over a car and under the car door handles of a car that took her spot. get's CRAZY in Little Village. 

Photo courtesy of:

Fact Number 5: It snowed on January 1st and covered our back yard with snow. We did not see our back yard without snow again until first of April! (photos to follow) ...we didn't really see grass of any kind this past winter.

We actually really do feel fortunate to have jobs and a warm home during winter. There was only one day that I worked from home because of the below freezing temperatures. Our alley was covered in snow and ice more days than not this past winter, which made driving it nearly impossible. So, Preston and I took the trains to work a lot more than usual. Which made for chilling walks. Brrr...

Some wintery photos we took: 

Preston helping a neighbor get his car unstuck. Cars getting stuck in the alley was not an uncommon sight. 
Look at all the snow! 

There was lots of shoveling done this winter. 
Some wintery scenes. The roads around our house are not "main" roads so they were not a priority to Chicago DOT. The road directly in front of house was NEVER once scrapped or salted. It was pretty nasty all winter. 

The way our back yard looked during winter 2014. 
Ok...winter's over...moving on. 

Well, just one more wintry experience. Preston is a fan of the Penguins and they were playing a winter classic game here in Chicago against the Blackhawks. We had to go!!! Via a good friend we got nice seats at a good price (thank you Matt and Julia B). It SNOWED the ENTIRE TIME and it was FREEZING!! 

And worst of all - the Penguins lost. 

It looks like winter wants to go away. We are experiencing a few days here and there that are above 40 degrees. One weekend it was a beautiful 70 degrees all weekend, which happened to be when Preston and I took a little weekend get-away just over to Michigan. 

It was so wonderful to relax outside the claustrophobicness of the city's concrete jungle. The weather was perfect!!!! We stayed a small bed and breakfast right next to the beach of Lake Michigan. We rode our bikes and hung out at the beach....lovely times. 

At the beach in New Buffalo Michigan 
And...while walking through "woods" we saw some a small group (about 15) deer! 

A couple of other things to note in this post. 

One, Preston is now officially in the Army National Guard. He was oath-ed in on April 11th 2014! 
This means that he will drill (serve) one weekend a month somewhere kind of close by and he will have to go to a two week training once a year.  And of course, he could be deployed by the State or Federal government.

He completed his first drill the weekend of May 3rd and 4th down in Peoria IL. Not too far away, but far away enough to have to stay over night down there. 

And final bit of news for this post is that Preston accepted a job with Frontier Health!  The position will be part time in Johnson City TN and part time in Mountain City TN, and it will begin in October of this year.  He will be providing psychology services up in Mountain City, helping with Frontier's assessment department in Johnson City, and helping with their predoctoral internship.

We are grateful to be getting to move back down South, but we have spent three years here in Chicago and have had a great time - we have establish good relationships with friends and with our church community. There is a sadness to leaving this big city. 

Both our jobs/bosses are aware that we will be leaving, and both have been very supportive and understanding. There is potential for me to continue working with Cardon Outreach when we move to TN, but I'm not holding my breath...however, prayer for that or the right thing to work out would be much appreciated. 

We will write more about moving/leaving and such at a later time.

I am posting this later than I intended, so it is now Mother's Day!  Preston and I are both blessed with truly wonderful mothers.  We realize that both of our mothers were and continue to be enormous sources of influence, love, and support.  We are extremely grateful for our mothers.

That's all for now! 

Preston and Krystal 

Final photo: 

Can you see the Chicago style RAT in photo? 

Mello sure sees the rat.