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Carol Perkins: Snow brings happy memories of Chicago

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By Carol Perkins

Among the happiest times of my adult life revolves around snow. Although snow falling in the hills of Kentucky and my small community is delightful, being in the city when it snows is as exciting to me as the Kentucky Derby is to my friends.

One of my best memories was when thirteen of us ladies, which included a couple of teenagers, made our way to Chicago before Christmas. Winters in Chicago can be brutal and this weekend started out mild, but in a twenty-four hour period, temperatures dropped and so did the snow.

When we arrived at the airport, one of the ladies had arranged for two stretch limos to pick us up.

What a surprise, but even more of a surprise was when the second one didn't show. Talk about a mad women, but she told us to pile in this one and dared the driver to protest. Thirteen women in bulky coats with one piece of large luggage each was a site going down Michigan Avenue with the truck tied down. We had arrived!

A big winter wonderland exhibit was going on at the Navy Pier, so we spent most of the next day browsing exhibits and then making our way in and out of department stores. Just like in New York City, the windows were spectacular holiday displays.

One of the most famous stores in Chicago at that time was Filene's Basement where we bought gifts for others and a few for ourselves. Back at the hotel, we made plans to walk across the street and down a pavilion to the Cheesecake Factory, located at the base of what was once the Sears Tower. That was my first time to eat at this restaurant and the first time to have so many choices of cheesecake that I ended up with the plain one topped with strawberries. What I recall the most was the slippery floor from the water we (or someone) had tracked in, and on our way out my good friend Judy slipped up and fell. She could have broken her hip had it not been for her coat.

Later, we walked down the street from our hotel to go to a blues club. Imagine twelve women in long coats, earmuffs, and scarves huddled together walking three blocks on an empty street. Then the snow began to pepper down. The lights, the snow, and my friends. What a peaceful picture. A few of us left the club early and stopped at some of the shops still open. When we got back to the hotel with our packages, we sat down together, drank coffee, and rehashed the day.

Since that time, two of the group has passed away and some are not well. I look at the pictures and their smiling faces and realize how fast time flies. Seems only yesterday we were riding in that limo and laughing like teenagers. Only yesterday did we walk the streets of Chicago, freezing to death but with warm hearts. That weekend was our Miracle on 34th Street because we would never be together like that again, but we still laugh about the trip to Chicago.

This story was posted on 2019-02-07 16:03:32
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