As a certified silver lining specialist, I managed to find a few bright spots in our bitter weather:

If snow-plowing was an Olympic event, Forest Park would take home the gold. Keeping our streets and sidewalks clear also earned our Public Works employees much-deserved overtime pay.

My French students are so cold; they’re staying inside and finishing their homework. They also got to enjoy that treasured American tradition – a snow day. 

Shoes? I can’t remember the last time I put on a pair. Wearing arctic boots every day has eliminated footwear decisions and the need for matching socks.

Has there ever been a better winter for paving contractors? Freeze-thaw cycles have turned streets into moonscapes. 

The deep freeze kept the snow pack postcard pretty for weeks, saving us the expense of an Alaskan cruise. 

A liquor store employee told me that thanks to the cold; he now finds working in the cooler downright comfortable. 

You can wear one red glove and one black glove and no one’s going to criticize, while you might get compliments on your long underwear. 

I never thought that watching the Winter Olympics would make me long for the warmth of Russia.

Heavy snowfall is saving some homeowners the cost of demolishing that old garage. 

There is no longer a need for speed bumps on Chicago side streets. I suggest tearing them out and using the material to fill the craters.

I don’t take delight in the suffering of other states, but I got a kick out of the fact New Jersey ran out of road salt and has resorted to pickle juice. 

You could definitely refer to it as the “winter from hell” if you consider that in Dante’s “Inferno” the lowest circle of hell is freezing. 

I found it impossible to feel sorry for myself, when I considered the plight of cops, crossing guards and my son tossing garbage in frozen alleys. My heart also went out to our much-maligned mail carriers. 

Has there ever been a better year for growing icicles?

The cold created closeness among strangers, fighting to get under the heat lamps on CTA platforms.

I’ve always wanted a walk-in refrigerator, which is why we have an unheated back porch. 

Tomorrow is supposed to bring another polar vortex. Isn’t it cool that we’re learning new words like vortex?

John Rice is a columnist/novelist who has seen his family thrive in Forest Park. He has published two books set in the village: The Ghost of Cleopatra and The Doll with the Sad Face.