The cold winter weather in Wisconsin (and across the country) the last few weeks combined with pandemic has meant we have not left our apartment much. I’m sure many folks can say the same and may be experiencing some cabin fever. While we will continue to face this challenge for the immediate future, I want to give some kudos to the creativity and commitment I have seen from people, businesses, and other communities to spend time outside:
1. We live a few blocks from Lake Monona here in Madison. Usually there is some activity on the lake in the winter, but this year I have been impressed by the number of people out on the frozen, snowy lake. There are people walking, running, cross-country skiing, snow-shoeing, and even biking. There are brave souls who have cleared off sections of the lake to create ice rinks for skating and hockey. It is a very cool scene!
2. There are multiple restaurants, breweries and cideries who have continued with outdoor fire pits, shanties, and other shelters to enable folks to gather outside for drinks and food. In the past few months, we’ve enjoyed these set ups at Daisy Cafe, Harmony Bar, Brix Cidery and a few others.
3. In the fall, Notre Dame (I’m sure other college campuses) created a new outdoor gathering space for students on “Library Lawn”. While it may be too cold in South Bend to utilize at this moment, it’s a new unique way to encourage students to make use of this great location on campus.
I read recently that we spend 90% of our lives indoor on average. This year has encouraged us to find new ways to be outside and perhaps helped us increase the amount time we spend outside (depending on your living situation, of course). While eventually I will be glad when we can safely gather indoors like normal, I have enjoyed this new kind of outside time and hope we continue it in the future.