Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Madison, WI trip report -- Part Two -- Why we don't live there anymore

There are many reasons we no longer live in Madison. First of all, Madison's the home of the state capitol and the flagship university, the University of Wisconsin-Madison. The town is overflowing with well-educated liberal arts majors, lawyers, and liberal social activists. It certainly doesn't need 2 more.

Secondly, it's Husband's hometown and he went to the UW for undergraduate. After 20+ years, he was ready to try living somewhere else.

But most of all, this is why we no longer live in Wisconsin:

That's Husband struggling through the snow on State Street, a pedestrian only street that links the University of Wisconsin campus to the state capitol. You'd think the city would keep it well plowed.

When we go to Madison, we stay with Husband's Mother. Her house, which she bought about 20 years ago, before Husband's accident, has steps to the front door, like most houses in this country. Therefore, to get into the house, Husband has to use this ramp in the back yard:

Notice the 6 inches of snow on the railing. Mother-in-Law (MIL) has to shovel the snow twice a day. People slipping and falling on the ice underneath the snow is pretty common. It's certainly happened to me many times.

Snow falling hard, reducing visibility. This is the approach on John Nolan Drive, about to go under the overpass connecting the Monona Terrace on the left with the rest of the city on the right. The Monona Terrace was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, Wisconsin native.

It certainly helps to have one of these snowblowers

Here's Husband getting into the car. This parking lot, near Wonders Bar, was not plowed. All the snow in the space between the handrims and the wheels soak through Husband's gloves, making his hands cold, numb, and stiff. That makes it harder for him to grip the rims, and getting through snow and slush gets progressively harder, not easier.

Also, to get the casters (the small front wheels) clear of the snow and slush, Husband has to pop a wheelie and balance on the big rear tires. As you can imagine, slipping and falling over backwards is not uncommon. Our last night there, we were walking back to the car after the hockey game and that's what happened. Husband's head knocked into my knees and I nearly went down too. Fortunately passers-by helped him back into his chair while I held it steady.

But that was the last freaking straw. We had been in Madison 5 days by then. The cold and slush and difficult going was getting on my nerves already and I was so freaking ready to go home to Atlanta where getting around doesn't require 5 layers of clothes, doesn't require half an hour of snow shoveling to get to the car and then get the car out of the snow, and doesn't leave a trail of melting dirty snow everywhere you go.

But, life in the great white North isn't all bad. You can go sledding, like these people.

Or you can go ice fishing like these people on Lake Monona. Here's a close up

And a view from the shore:

When we got back to Atlanta, it was in the 50s, a full 30 degrees warmer than what we left in Wisconsin.

And, that's why we no longer live in Madison.

1 comment:

KnitTech said...

Boise does get snow, but not like that... I wouldn 't live there either!