a breakfast serial

One bite-sized story every morning to uplift, motivate, or provoke thought.

Surviving Chicago Summers

< By Jorie Larsen of The Midwest Maven >

In Chicago, we experience the full force of each season. Our autumns are crisp and sunny, with plenty of colorful foliage. But then winter swoops in with its arctic gusts, subzero temps, and snowdrifts so large they could bury a schoolbus. Spring grants us a reprieve from the snow, in the form of torrential downpours. Finally, there is a two-week stretch in May when it’s 65 degrees with a light breeze and Chicagoans are kinder, a little bit more beautiful, and at peace with the world.

And then it gets hot. We’re talking 95+ degrees. With 100% humidity. And you’re forgiven for anything you say or do in a heat-induced stupor. You sweat through outfits, your makeup melts, and your hair resembles Carrot Top, if he stuck his fingers in a socket. Yesterday, when I settled into my cubicle after just a half-mile walk outside, I had to wipe away a sweaty sheen of moisture threatening to drip off my cheekbones.  “Come to Chicago: sweat in new and unusual places on your body!”

Growing up in suburban Chicago, house rules were that the A/C didn’t go on until it was 90 degrees outside, and it was turned off each evening. On nights when our rooms felt like ovens, my older sister and I would sleep in the following places:

–       the basement, in sleeping bags

–       the treehouse in our backyard that my dad built (we’d always awake with dozens of mosquito bites)

–       on the trampoline (see above)

–       on a big blue gymnastics mat that my parent had in the backyard

–       in the screened-in porch

–       in the RV (which was often hotter but the novelty never wore off)

I still live in Chicago, but now I’m in control of the A/C. And you bet your tush it’s on at night.


  Larry Who wrote @

Chicago has not been the same since the Stock Yards were torn down. Ah, when the winds were in the right direction, you could almost smell my uncle’s cattle in Polo, IL.

  Kate @ The Kate Keeper wrote @

The only time I’ve ever felt my scalp sweat was during a September heatwave in Boston. I remember being so embarrassed about how sweaty I was after the short walk to my first class of the day. My hair was huge, my face wet, and, in weather like that, makeup only hurts you.

  Friday Round-Up: July 19, 2013 – wrote @

[…] – I wrote about surviving Chicago summers over at A Breakfast Serial. […]

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