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Location: Chicago, United States

I am now at the prime of my life and have been married for the past 25 years. Sickly at times, but wants to see the elixir vita, so that I will be able to see my grandchildren from my two boys.

Friday, February 15, 2008


Dear Aunti Patti Koh,

Last Monday,11Feb.'08, we were dismissed early from schoo because of the winter storm. The weather is so bad, and it was so hard to drive and see the road. The snow was falling and the road was so bad because it has not been salted and plowed by the city yet. I had a hard time driving along the route I always take to get home.

My school is at least a good 45 minutes drive in good weather and good rod. But today, it is taking me forever. There's lots of accident on the road that I have passed by. Cars are on the ditches or just gets stalled on the road, waiting for assistance. You can see the driver of the road in their cell phone most probably calling for help or assistance.

I have been driving for at least 20 minutes, around 20 miles already, when I noticed that the dash board of my car is showing red lights on different symbols of the car. I was praying that if anything will happen to my car, I wish and hope I will reach my house first, because it was so cold and the storm is really doing its best. Snow is hampering all the movements of the cars on the road, and to top it all it is already 9:45 Pm and I am still far away from my house.

Then the inevitable thing happened. My car stopped right ar the corner of Martin Luther King Road and Washington St, underneath the stop light. The entire engine just went dead and there is nothing except the faint blinking of my emergency light. It was good there is not much traffic on the road because of the weather, and there is the BP gas station across from where I parked. I went to the gas station and asked the gas attendant if they have a towing truck that could tow my car to my house. She gave me instead a number to call, which I did.

The tow company was very nice and very polite. I know that when there is bad weather, and there's lots of stranded cars on the road, these towers have an attitude problem. This guy who answered the phone told me he is his way home because nobody is calling him for service. Then he said, his shop is only 10mins away from where my car is standing. I was very happy. My adrenaline was really pumping. The driver told me he has a flatbed truck to haul my SUV. He said he prefer cash, so I told him I will pay him in cash if he will stop by any bank and I can use the 24 hour ATM machine. It was then agreed upon, that I have to pay the towing company US$90.00, so the truck came and the driver is very nice and very polite.

During the time while I was waiting for the towing company to arrive, while I was standing infront of my car, in a blurry night of snow, there was this man who stopped and asked me if I need help and was offering his cell phone for me to use. I politely thanked him and told him a tow truck is on its way and I waved at him. Then after a few seconds, another car stopped infron of me and there was these elderly couple in the car asking me if I needed help and I politely responded that there is a tow truck on its way and thanked both of them for the offer of help. Then Dominos Pizza deliver car stopped infront of my car and the delivery guy asked if I needed help. Again, I politely advised him what is happening and waved at him goodbye.

Then the tow truck came.

And so Auntie Patti Koh, I cannot believe that there are these Good Samaritans who have stopped for me, and I cannot believe that it happened in a place that is not that good of a neighborhood, in the aread called North Chicago. There's still lots of good people out there, no matter what you say and stories you hear about this particular place. Maybe I did something good, that is the reason I received something good also in return.

Sincerely Yours,


Wednesday, February 06, 2008


This is the 2nd winter storm for this 2nd week in February '08.
I took this picture at 2:30pm 06 Feb. 08 from my back door while the storm is on going.

I took this picture also the same day and time from my front door while the storm is on going and the blare of the storm signal remindering to residents to be prepared for the worst to come.

This is my back yard and my apple trees. I was able to snow blow some of the snow so that I could get out of my parking tomorrow morning. After I have snow plowed the back yard, an hour later four more inches of snow has fallen so I just went inside my house and warm myself.
Dear Auntie Patti Koh,
Yes, this is the second storm for this opening weeks of the months of February. According to the weather man, there will be another one coming this weekend. I have already asked a private contractor to plow my driveway and my backyard because my snow plow cannot do the job anymore.
I was on my way to my hospital clinical in school, when the Head Nurse of the hospital, who is my instructor called my celfon and told me that she has cancelled the clinical and she has already informed all of my nine calssmates also not to come. The road was so bad and it was so hard to see the road. The snow plow cannot plow the road and salt the road completely because there are still lots of traffic on the road. Hopefully as the night progresses and the cars are all indoors, hopefully, the road will be cleared by tomorrow and will be more cleared of snow.
It was a very bad snow storm. My wife called me at home and told me their work was also cancelled and she is now on the flat form of the elevated train waiting for the delayed train. She was telling me there were lots of people at the train station waiting for the train to come. I told her to keep her celfon easy to reach at all times incase I need to call and check on her.
I got stuck on the side road infront of my house and the driveway was so heavily laden with snow that I need to shovel under the wheels of the car even my back is aching. I have no choice or else I will be blocking the side streets and will disturb the snow plow when it comes. Finally I was able to move my car with the help of the four wheel drive and the winter drive in my SUV.
After listening to the storm warning, I went to my basement and check if there are some bottled drinking water,candles and flashlights and new batteries, blankets and charger for the celfons and food. We have lots of canned goods at the basement and plenty of fresh apples and oranges that I have stored last week. Fresh fruits in the states during winter time is coming from South America. I have check my dog food also and my dog Bombo's food is okey. He still have still two big bags that will last for another three weeks for him.
And so, Auntie Patti Koh, I cannot understand why lots of our Kababayans still wants to come to America. Life is so hard during winter time in here. No matter how hard the road with snow, life has to go on and we still have to go to work.
Sincerely yours,

Sunday, February 03, 2008


Last Friday 01 February 2008, we were hit by winter storm. My back porch with the pile of snow.

My back porch overlooking my neighbor's garage.
My SUV, partially buried in snow, because I already scraped some of it in order to get to work and sschool.

My barbeque grill that I was not able to cover properly. I cannot use it anymore for summer.

My son who is in college which is 3 hours drive from home, left his car. I don't have time to scrape the snow.

My front yard. The evergreeens still have the Christmas lights attached to it. Now I cannot remove it until springtime.
Dear Auntie Patti Koh,
We were hit by a terrible snow storm last Friday. It was very bad and lots of schools were closed because it was so hard to travel. I have to force myself to work because I have no choice. Nobody will take care of my patients in the Assisted Living that I am working. Even if it was only ten minutes drive from home.... the drive was terrible. I have to leave the house at 5:30 AM and the snow plows have just started to clean and salt the streets. The driving was so dangerous. My work place is also covered with at least 6 inches of snow and the maintenance crew will be coming at 9:30 AM to plow the snow.
Going to school in the evening is dangerous too. Lots of cars are driving at a very slow pace. The road is really bad and the snow plows cannot clean the snow and salt it, because there are still lots of cars. There were lots of fender bender and accidents on the road. We were sent home early. Instead of leaving the school at 10Pm, we were ordered to go home at 8:30PM. On my way home, the highway that I am taking was closed because there was an accident of 7 cars pile up. The snow was blowing and it is hard to see. It took me a good 1:30minutes to get home on a usual 30 minutes drive from school to home. The road was so dangerous and when the snow is blowing, I could hardly see anything.
The weather man said this Wednesday, another storm is brewing and people are being asked to prepare for it.
And so Auntie Patti Koh, this is our life in the States. Plenty of snow for Halo-Halo.
Sincerely yours,