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Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Emigration, Part 2 - La La La La La America!

The little house in Nine-Mile, our first home in America!
We had arrived in America, it was August 1978, and boy was it hot in Chicago.  Once through customs my dad went off to find a rental car, my mom, sisters, and I sat and waited, and waited, and waited, it was hot and stuffy in O'Hare airport.  Outside the sun was shining and the wind was blowing, the trees seemed to beckon to us to come outside and cool off in the shade, we took the challenge and walked outside. The blowing wind was not refreshing, it was hot and humid, the heat was intense, suddenly it did not seem so hot and stuffy inside and we were glad to return.  Shortly my dad returned, there was not a car to be rented in the entire airport,  he said we would have to stay in a hotel for the night and head to Fort Wayne the next morning.
Well I must say this was an exciting development as I had never before stayed in a hotel, let alone a hotel in America! We took a taxi to the hotel. By now it was evening in America, to us it was midnight, we were exhausted and hungry. The hotel had a dining room so we went to get dinner, our first family meal together since arriving in the country.  I ordered a hamburger, and to this day I still remember my entire meal, I was amazed at the size of the platter that was set before me! On this memorable platter there was a huge hamburger on a colossal bun, lettuce, tomato, onion, cheese, and beside it all a heaping pile of french fries, chips to us, and a strange green thing, turns out it was a pickle!  It was unbelievable, I had never seen so much food on a plate that was intended for only one person.
After dinner we headed back to our room to get some much needed sleep.  Around two in the morning we were awoken by thunder storms, we had thunder storms in England but not like the severe storms experienced in the Midwest.  The lightning was non-stop, the rain torrential, the thunder roared, and the wind was whipping everything into a frenzy, it was very exciting. By four in the morning we were wide awake, to us it felt as if we had slept in late, my dad suggested that we watch TV. Well that was odd, in England we had three channels, BBC1, BBC2, and ITV and they went off the air around midnight and did not come back until the morning.  We turned on the TV and to our surprise there was something on to watch, an old, black and white show, we had no idea what it was, it turned out it was I Love Lucy, my sisters and I had never heard of it and we had no idea who Lucille Ball was.  Bored with TV my sister Michelle and I went off to explore the hotel, at the end of the hallway there was a candy vending machine, it caught our attention, after puzzling over the strange array of candy (sweets) available, none that we recognized, we agreed on one to purchase. We figured out what coins to put in the machine and voila the machine released its prize to us and we eagerly tore open the box to try the American candy, what a huge disappointment.  To this day I am not sure what we purchased, I picked a green one to try and my sister chose a red one, UGHHH, I expected a nice lime, fruity flavor, instead it was spearmint and tasted as if I was eating toothpaste, my sister expected a nice cherry fruity flavor and instead got spicy cinnamon, we did not eat anymore of the suspicious candy, and hoped that these Americans did have some good candy somewhere.
Later in the morning we headed back to O'Hare Airport where we took a plane to fly to Fort Wayne, it is only a forty-five minute flight and it seems that just as the plane has reached altitude it begins it's descent. Flying into Fort Wayne airport is always pleasant, it is surrounded by farmland, neat and tidy farms, and trees, everything always looks so green and inviting, it is a view that I have enjoyed several times over the years and one I never tire of. When we arrived in Fort Wayne  it was around eighty degrees and very pleasant, the overnight storms had chased away the very hot, humid weather we had experienced the day before in Chicago, and there to greet us was Velma, her husband Phil worked with my dad. Velma was such a nice lady, she seemed glamorous and very american, we piled into her large car and with the air conditioning blasting, she whisked us away to our new home for the next six months, a small ranch style house in Nine Mile, a very small community on the outskirts of Fort Wayne.
Everything was different, cars were larger, weather was warmer, food was strange we simply had never seen many of the products for sale in the grocery stores and such a vast array of foods available, stores were huge, restaurants were everywhere, churches were everywhere, houses were huge, it was all foreign to us. And to top it off everything cost less, clothing, food, gas, housing , all of it was so much less expensive than in England.
We were at the final destination of our trip, we had successfully emigrated and were now  were ready to start our life in America. What an adventure, and what a wonderful experience.


Pete said...

Great stuff Bean, let me know when the next chapter is posted.


Bean said...

Will do. Hope you don't mind that I borrowed a picture :)

Rome_is_Home said...

Thank you so much for sharing your story with us this is an exciting and you explain your coming to America so well you are a gifted writer :) Check out the poem my daughter made me for mothers day on my blog when you get a chance I'm proud of it :) Blessings to you and looking forward to more of your posts :)

Bean said...

Hi Amy, Thank you for stopping by, I am now on my way to your blog to read the poem.


Bean said...

Hi Amy,

I tried to leave a comment on your blog re: the wonderful poem your daughter wrote for you, but was unable to because it said I had to be a team member. Anyway, I think you daughter did a good job, she wrote a sincere from the heart poem and it obvious she loves you very much.

Blessings to you,


Rome_is_Home said...

Oh sorry about that I need to fix the settings to allow comments I guess, don't know how it got into secure mode, thanks so much for the kind comments about her poem I will let her see you kind comment :)
Blessings to you!

LondonEye said...

I don't remember staying in the hotel or flying to fort fun at all - how funny!!! I was convinced that we drove!!!!

What a fantastic picture of the ranch on nine mile.

But what about the music !!! - I think that might come in part 3