Welcome to America

“Welcome to America!” Aunty V exclaimed as she moved towards my sister and I arms outstretched with a long winter coat tucked under her left arm.
“Finally, you are here!” Mother added
We hadn’t seen her in almost a year, and hadn’t lived with her in about fourteen.
“What about me?” I looked down to see my youngest sister, then 6, her big round eyes shaded by bushy eyebrows and thick lashes, staring up at me. I leaned down and pretended to pick her up saying how big she had gotten since I last saw her.
“How was the flight?”
“We almost missed the connecting flight from Detroit to Columbus!” my sister said.
“Yes! They radioed ahead to the cockpit to tell them we were on our way because we were internationals.” I chimed in feeling rather proud and important.
“I bet you girls are starving! Your mom and I decided to take you out to Olive Garden.” “Here, put these on.” Aunty V said.
Both Mother and Aunty V handed Sheela and I coats. They were long, ankle-length, grey-black, and non-descript. As I would later learn, all fashion sense went out the door when it came to the brutal winters in the Midwest. It was about staying warm. They had certainly gone for warm.
“We have had one of our worst winters yet. All the trees on our street have lost branches because they’ve been so weighed down by the snow.”
Aunty V chatted away as she helped us into the coats, handed us hats and ear-muffs, and finally produced two bulky pairs of gloves that resembled those for boxing. I shuddered to think that this winter thing could be that bad! No matter, my excitement to see snow could hardly be contained or dampened by the extra layers we had suddenly acquired.
“Off we go!” Aunty V said as she grabbed hold of our carry-on luggage and led the way.” (An excerpt from the famed memoir)

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2 comments

  1. Thanks for sharing this! I can’t wait to read the whole memoir. LOL–I love your description of the winter “fashion”–often so true, especially back then! When my sister lived in the Midwest, she tried really hard to avoid coats that “make you look like a toilet paper roll or a paper towel roll.”

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