The year was 2004
It was cold, hell no, it was freezing. The wind was blowing the snow through the air so fast that you could hardly see the end of the street. I didn’t need to see it though, I knew exactly where I was going.
It started as a normal day, well, as normal as any snow day could be. Nothing but chores to do and three siblings running around the house. My dad was in the basement working, and my mother was frustrated with her four excited children, with a day off from school. As the day wound down, and the sun started to set, I put on my snow gear: some sneakers, a ski jacket, sweat pants under some jeans, light sunglasses for the snow, and gloves.
I stepped out into the gray-orange twilight, it was calm with some heavy snow. I started walking towards a construction site just around the corner, I wanted to see what some of the new houses looked like with snow inside of them. So, off I walked to where a forest once stood. Woods that we had had bonfires in, created mountain bike trails, tracked deer in. Those were our woods, now, they were someone’s neighborhood.
It took only a few minutes to get to that lonely street that would one day be filled with more suburban families. The wind was starting to pick up as I trudged down the hill to the house I wanted to see and then … suddenly I woke up. It was chilly, but not freezing. I was . I didn’t know where I was. It was a hole — lots of concrete. There was snow falling on me, but I wasn’t outside. My body hurt, but ok, I could still move my toes. Nothing seemed broken or missing. I was whole. But where was I?
I stood up, to find my head just barely poking out of a sewage grate on the side of the road. Only, there wasn’t a grate there yet. It took a few tries in the deep snow to climb out but there I was in the pitch black of night, the wind going crazy and snow coming down hard. I only knew how to get home because of the hill. I was walking down it right, or maybe I was walking up? I can’t remember, so I start walking down.
By the time I get to the bottom of the hill, I see the house under construction and I realize I went the wrong way. I’m sore, tired, and thirsty, so instead of going inside the house, I turn around and begin the journey back the way I came. It seemed that I was sweating, and it was getting colder. How does it get colder when you’re sweating? That doesn’t make any sense. The snow gets bigger, and it was cold, hell no, it was freezing. The wind was blowing the snow through the air so fast that you could hardly see the end of the street. I didn’t need to see it though, I knew exactly where I was going. I cut through some trees and appeared in my backyard. I was prepared to walk in the back door, when I saw my family.
My mom was laughing, and my youngest sister was setting the table. I could hear my brother’s surround sound upstairs, through the window, in the utter silence that can only happen in a snowstorm. I saw my other sister dancing in the living room to some disney show, and my dad appeared as if on queue. I watched this for a few minutes before going inside to join my picture perfect family.
My family is probably the most influential part of my life. They showed me what it means to be loved, to love, to fight for what you believe in, to never give up, to do the right thing even if it is unpopular, to have a God, and most importantly, what it means to be a family.
Happy Thanksgiving everyone,