Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Winter Stories - Part 1

All photos of the majestic Rocky Mountains of Colorado that are featured here were taken by me during our family vacation in early June of last year. I took the photos from inside our vehicle, using my pocket-sized digital camera, while the car was going 75 miles/hr.

Two nights ago, winter arrived in Cheyenne, Wyoming. This prompted me to come up with an idea to write about my winter stories, which I’ll be posting throughout this winter season. I only hope that I will not bore you during the course.

As info to my readers outside the U.S., the official winter season here in the U.S. is from December to February. To me though, winter is when I start wearing winter coats, gloves, scarves, boots, and when the snow starts falling. Even though the first snowfall this year in Cheyenne had come a week later than most times, I'm still not ready for it. Don't get me wrong. I like snow; I just wish it comes only a couple of months a year, preferably from December through January, rather than the usual seven-month stretch.

On October 28, 1977, I journeyed from the Philippines to the U.S. It was an exciting and a very scary experience for me. I was barely nineteen, never been in an airplane before, and never travelled more than 200 miles away from home. But I've always been on the the adventurous side all my life, so, I gave my sister and brother-in-law and a couple of friends hugs and kisses, said my goodbyes, and then boarded the airplane. I definitely felt anxious about my flight because my heart was beating fast and my breathing, irregular. I often had to breathe deep and slow in hopes of calming myself down, but they didn’t work. Of course, on take off, I felt more anxious. I closed my eyes, held my breath, and gripped at the armrests on both sides. My neighbor must have noticed my freight because he started making conversations with me. The conversations really helped.

I was okay for a long while until we started descending in Hawaii when I felt that sensation of my stomach being up to my chest and throat. That falling sensation was very disconcerting to me that even conversations could not distract me. So, of course, I once again closed my eyes, held my breath, and gripped the armrests. I have flown in airplanes many times more after that journey that those things that bothered me before are now trivial. Thank goodness.

On a layover in Los Angeles, I phoned my sister here in Cheyenne. She asked me if my plane will be stopping in Denver. I didn’t know exactly how to read my itenerary from my multiple plane tickets, so, she told me to ask the people behind the counter. I was told yes. I then relayed that to my sister. She said she and her family will drive to Denver, Colorado to see me.

I boarded my next flight. However, instead of landing next at the Denver airport, I landed at the Miami International Airport—my final destination. I asked one of the stewardess why we didn’t stop in Denver. She said that Denver was never in the itinerary. Oh boy, oh boy! My sister and her family had gone there for nothing! Why then that I was told that my flight stops in Denver? Perhaps my heavy Filipino accent got in a way with my English that the woman behind the counter misunderstood me. I still have my Filipino accent, but it’s probably not as heavy as it once was, since people don’t have a hard time understanding me now when I speak. Either that or they’re used to the way I talk.

My husband, fiancĂ© at the time, and his friends met me at the airport. My arrival was a long awaited one—over a year. It must have been true love, for hubby to wait that long for me to come to America to marry him. I’m still pretty blown away after all these years, thinking about it.

Anyway, back to my sister. When we talked on the phone again, she explained that they were having a snowstorm when I called her from L.A. It was around 1 a.m. Her husband had to install chains on the tires of their car to make the trip to Denver. You have to understand; this was over thirty years ago, before the advent of four-wheel drives. They bundled up my two-year old nephew as they drove to Denver in the snowstorm. I felt terrible about it when I learned about their treacherous drive. I was so thankful they were safe. If not, I’d be feeling the guilt up to now.

Well folks, that’s all for now until next time. Thanks so much for reading.


Lilly's Life said...

Tasha, that was a wonderful post.

It's hard to think of snow when it is so hot here. The difference between the Philippines climate and Cheyenne must have been hard to get used to too. Strangely, a neighbour came to see me today - she and her husband and their son (who was adopted from the Philipines) have just returned from a four week trip there. They had so much fun but they were saying how humid and hot it is. have you gone back to the Philipines since you moved to Cheyenne?

Moving countries is a big adventure and when you think you were only 19 too. Looking back you realise how young that was. Better still you have had a happy marriage wonderful children and have a wonderful home there. It is a wonderful story. I look forward to your further winter posts.

tashabud said...

Hello Lilly,
I must have been in the midst of adding the photos when you stopped by.

Well, before coming to Cheyenne to live permanently, my family and I had been to other cold places, which I'll be talking about more in my next posts. But yes, it was very hard at first. The times that I've gone back to the Phlippines, I had to take at least two showers--one in the morning and one in the evening. I'm so used to the weather here now that too much humidity bothers me. The last time I visited my family in the Philippines was in 2005, so, I suppose it's time to visit again.

And I agree with you that going to another county is an adventure indeed. I do have a lot of good memories and experiences living in different states of the U.S. I also have a lot of good memories about the Philippines, which in time, I'll be writing about them as well.

You know, it just dawned on me that I've lived in the U.S. longer than I've lived in the Philippines and have lived with my husband longer than with my family there?

As for our marriage, we also have our ups and downs like everyone else, especially when we were young, immature, and stubborn. We just managed to weather them out somehow. I think that if the good outweighs the bad, it's worth saving any relationship, especially when both parties a committed to making it work and last.

Thanks for visiting and reading. Have a great week.


RhonB (aka Pinkoy) said...

Hi Tasha! Love the way you write! Thanks for posting a comment in my news blog. By the way, I also wanted to invite you to my other blog. It's not linked to my other "work-related" blogsites. It's http://pin-k-oy.blogspot.com. I do hope you like it to because that's my fun side.

Take care always :)

queenlint1 said...

Hey, Little Beauty!!

This is gorgeous country. I've driven many a mile through the American West and Wyoming is one of the few states remaining with large areas of pristine country.

The mountains are glorious and the passes can be treacherous. Outside of Cody, there is a huge plain that seems to go on forever with the mountains as a backdrop.


redchair said...

Hi Tasha,
We know it’s winter in California when we turn off the air conditioners. I’m so acclimated to hot weather that when I go to New York during the winter months I always equate the feeling of ice cold on my skin akin to ‘fire.’ It’s actually burns. And of course it’s impossible to find suitable coats or clothing in California for those trips.

Your story is not unlike mine this week (with Helena). It must have been frightening yet exciting at the same time. You were a very brave little gal to do what you did - but look at the wonderful life and love you got.

I’m sure your sister forgave you and faced many of the same problems with the language barrier first coming into this country.


tashabud said...

Hello RhonB,
Thanks for the compliment. Thanks also for visiting and commenting. I linked your new site, and I'll be visiting you there soon.


tashabud said...

Hello RhonB,
Thanks for the compliment. Thanks also for visiting and commenting. I linked your new site, and I'll be visiting you there soon.


tashabud said...

Hi Dina,
I remember you writing about your stay in Utah. It sounds like you've travelled the northern Wyoming part as well. It's so good to know that you're very familiar of our state of Wyoming and its surroundings. Will you be coming this way again, do your think? If you do, let me know and we can visit while you're here.


tashabud said...

Hi Vikki,
Yeah, I see what you mean about turning off the airconditioner as the sign of winter. See, I didn't think that it ever gets cold there in California. This just shows that there's still a lot I don't know about our great big country U.S.A.

Blogging, for sure, has taught me a lot of things.

Do you still travel to New York? I don't like the eastcoast winter, either. The cold there is bone=chilling due to high humidity in the air. Here in Wyoming, the humidity is low, so the cold is not bone-penetrating.

Yes, indeed, the experience was exciting, yet scary, too. And I agree with you that Helena and I have similarity in that we're both immigrants and were both fairly young when we made the long journey here.

This country has offered me so much that I'm forever grateful. Do you know, that not even once have I felt discriminated at all? This country is truly the land of opportunity. As long as we work hard and follow our dreams, anything is possible. Every where I've been in this country, people have been very welcoming and friendly. And with my husband and kids here, this country is my home sweet home.

About my sister. She laughs now when she retells the story. I'm sure that at the time, they didn't find the situation funny at all. Thanks again for visiting and reading.


Matt said...

That is such a neat story, Tasha. I have never been to Cheyenne (or Wyoming) but I can only imagine how beautiful it gets when the snow falls (even though it is a pain for those who live there).

The pictures you took are really good, and I hope you have more to post and more stories to tell. Keep up the great work.

netta said...

Hi Tasha,

I grew up in upstate New York, so I can really relate to the snow story. I have a few of my own, and it can be very scary driving in such weather.

Your photos are breathtaking -- I've been through that area of the country once (strangely enough, when I was about 19!) and it is absolutely gorgeous. I'd really like to get back there someday.

It sure is nice to meet you.


Jena Isle said...

That was a very interesting post. It kept me on my toes with the very first sentence, I just had to read on. You're a wonderful writer. You know how to arouse the reader's interest. What happened to your helium? You know you can post this article at helium and people will read.

I could just imagine the interplay of emotions that you have experienced in this adventure.

Thanks for sharing.

tashabud said...

Hello Matt,
I'm glad you found my story pretty neat. Have you ever seen snow close up? It's really something to see and touch, even just once in your lifetime. I know that you get some ice there in the winter, but it's completely different from the fluffy snow.

My camera didn't do justice to the mountains of Colorado. With a professional camera, those mountains would look more awesome. Thanks for visiting and commenting.


tashabud said...

Hi Netta,
I'm so glad to meet you also. I appreciate you visiting and commenting.

Yes, I do remember the days when we used to visit my in-laws in Pennsylvanis in the winter, going through the narrow toll roads with semi trucks whizzing by in the icy roads was very scary indeed. Do you still live in upstate New York?

Nineteen must be the popular age to be doing some adventuring, eh?Oh, you should come and visit the west again. If nothing else, just for nostalgic reasons.

Have a great weekend,

tashabud said...

Hello Jena,
Thanks for your kind words. I sure had all kinds of unexplainable emotions as I left the Philippines to come to live here in America. Being the baby in my family, Mama didn't want me to leave, so that was very hard for me also.

As far as Helium goes, I think I'll just try to keep my writings in my blog. So much work involved to try to maintain other sites. I don't have time to maintain my two blogs as it is. Thank you for suggesting, though. It's just that I don't have the time.

Have a great weekend.

Matt said...

Tasha - If we're lucky we might get a small snowfall every other year or so, but nothing like there. I have been skiing and I absolutely love the snow. Still, I wouldn't want to live where it snows a lot. I like mild weather. Maybe someday I can retire in Hawaii. After I hit the lottery (that I don't even play). Hee-hee

tashabud said...

Hi Matt,
Wow, you ski? I can't even stand on one without sliding and falling on my but right away. So where do you go to ski in Texas? Doesn't the Dallas area have a pretty mild weather already? And Matt, yes, you wouldn't win the lottery unless you play. Hehe. Thanks for coming back to comment again.


Eric S. said...

I'm sorry I haven't come over to check your site sooner. I have no excuse what so ever. I guess I need a good stern talking too. LOL.

Tasha that is a nice story. I am sure your sister and her husband had an interesting drive. If I remember correctly 1977 was a very snowy year in the mountains of Colorado and Wyoming. Times were definitely different back then, and I think the snow was quite a bit heavier.

I love the pictures, they look very much like some of the areas around home. That first one likes lie an area coming off Troutcreek Pass heading toward Buena Vista. I do so miss those beautiful mountains.

Thanks for the trip through your memories. I can only imagine how frightening it was for you. I'm glad your hubby waited for you, he obviously loves you a great deal.

AZ Mom of Many Hats said...

You pic are beautiful. It is amazing that there is such beauty in creation! I wanted to thank you for stopping by my blog and linking to "My Sister's Cancer." I'll stop by your blog often.

tashabud said...

Hi Eric,
No need for stern talking to you. The most important thing is that you finally made your way to my blog.

I'm glad you can identify the mountains because I don't. I wish I could though. All I know is that they are the rocky mountains of Colorado. You must have lived in the most scenic part of Colorado. I remember reading somewhere in your blogsite that you used to work as a ski patrol. I was just telling Matt that I can't get on a pair of skis without falling on my but. So, I never get to learn how to ski, unfortunately.

It does seem that snowfall was much heavier and much more grequently in the past. My sister told me that by the time they arrived home, it was like close to five in the morning. The blizzard was terrible, she said. So it took them forever to get home.

I was truly excited yet scared at the same time. I was so glad that I was able to make the trip okay.

Thanks for reading and commenting


tashabud said...

Hello Az Mom,
Welcome to my blog. Thank you also for your visit. And I'm more than happy to spread the word on your sister's behalf and to educated more women about this type of cancer. I'll be looking forward to your future visits.

Thanks and God Bless,

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