Windy days like yesterday bring back a plethora of anxiety. I have never liked the wind, so Chicago would never be an adventure for me. The wind is howling loudly tonight as I lay and try to sleep, hearing the swirling whistles and words it has to say, almost like haunts piercing through the old windowsills. The night has fallen into slumber for some, but I cannot fall into that realm of solitude. Old man winter is settling in and along with the wind is conspiring the cold to settle all around us. There are so many blankets on the bed we can hardly turn over and if the light is just right, you can see the humidity from your breath as it meets the frigid temperature in the room. As morning arrives, I am happy to find the stillness once again, even though Jack Frost has left his footprints all along the windows in the house by stomping out the residual warmth from the night before. I remember as a child telling myself, “when I’m grown I will not be cold in the winter and I will not be hot in the summer”. The heat was almost as scarce as the coolness was in the summer. The small water cooler in the front window had one small fan and had to be filled with the water hose. But, we didn’t know any different, sheltered in an era where we didn’t know anyone lived differently than we did. The nights were complete opposites of winter time. There weren’t enough clothes to take off to be cool, there was no fan and you could feel the beads of sweat form on your forehead and make their way to your neck. There is a solace in knowing this experience was shared with my siblings. Another bond that seals family, makes them close, guarded and protective of one another. That self I was then is who I am now, with compassion for the less fortunate and a forward payer in the oddest of places. For example, my wife and I stopped at a Mexican restaurant the other day and it was impressed upon me to buy a lone police officer desert. I bought it, took it over to him and said, “here is something sweet to finish off your meal”. He looked at me as though I was a foreigner in a land of silence, for all he said was “thank you sir”.
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