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The beam of the car headlights framed flakes as they drifted, barely there. “Well, kids–it’s really snow,” said our dad. Snow. Snow. We stared out the front windshield and talked loudly. The faint precipitation didn’t rate the stir going on in our vehicle. Dad finally told us to settle down.
But we had been waiting for months–since September, when we had flown out of Bangkok, landed exhausted in New York City, and ridden through the night with patient friends to my dad’s family home out in the country. We soon moved to a turn-of-the-century house in town, some of the antique furnishings intact. Often, we drove our station wagon out into the rolling green and wooded countryside, visiting family, friends, or churches that hosted us with potlucks. We’d glided along smooth, quiet roads and eaten meatballs at farmhouses and wondered at carpeted bathrooms. But with snow, we’d know we were really in America, seeing the seasons as the books said they were supposed to be.