26 Feb Let It Snow!
Snow! In Massachusetts this winter we’ve had a record high amount of snow for the month of February. The snow and accompanying bitter cold of New England brought back for me the memory of our early years in America.
Outside the apartment on Third Street in LaSalle, Illinois, snow had fallen on the roof tops and the sidewalks. In our basement apartment the half-window at ground level was covered with snow, blocking the sunlight struggling to shine through after the storm. It was dark and cold.
The musty, damp, chilly air caused our sensitive young children to have cold symptoms (they were used to a semi-tropical climate in Viet Nam). They had a difficult time breathing, were congested, and sneezed and coughed.
The hot-water heating system had broken down. Our landlord tried his best to fix it; however, the aging old system had seen better days and now it struggled to fight the pervasive cold. The heating system would run laboriously for a few hours, then stop. Run a few hours, then …stop. We endured many days of no heat and no hot water in this small apartment in the basement of an 18-unit complex.
Many mornings, as soon as my husband left for work, I would pack lunch and dress our children and we would run out the door to catch the bus to go to the mall where we’d find refuge from the cold.
Today, snow pounding us here in Massachusetts, with white-out conditions and high winds as I sat in my-third floor condominium, my husband and I were talking to our children and grandchildren on FaceTime. It was a long way from catching a bus to the mall and to catching flights to Disney World in Florida! I felt so emotional, thinking of the difference between then and now. I hummed “Oh, the weather outside is frightful, but the fire is so delightful. And since we’ve no place to go. Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow.” I contemplated how far we had come.