Tuesday, November 20, 2018

#25 ~ Spring 1976 ~ Hartford, CT

Every day we woke up, we were wondering if this is for real, is anyone going to come and take it all away...The apartment, the furniture, clothes, dishes...  But the fact was that after being without a home for so long, we finally had one. Our new friends were coming to visit every day to bring more groceries or toys for Masha, take us out, or just to talk and explain things. Oh, we all  had so many questions. I think I had a surprise on my face at all times. One day Diane and Sharon came and brought a huge box full of clothes and said that it was all for me. FOR ME???????? I was almost 8 months pregnant and had only one dress, if you can call it a dress :-(  that I wore every day. "Well, here is maternity clothes for you". What is maternity clothes? I did not have to open my dictionary, because I understood after they showed me a pretty blouse. I was so astonished that special clothes for pregnant women even existed and that I will be able to wear it. It was beautiful! I started trying things on at once. Shirts, jackets, pants with stretchable elastic, dresses... It was unreal! We had such a great afternoon. After that I was changing my outfits at least 3 times a day!
Our landlady Dorothy was very helpful. Every time she would go shopping, she would take me with her. We bought eggs in one store, then drove to the bakery to buy bread, and then go to the big grocery store to get the rest. She would show me how to shop, teach me what to look for, how to get the best bargain. But I kept thinking what an incredible place we live in now, how lucky we are and hoped that it will never change.
Felix and Ida started going to the evening English classes every day and came home with new words, expressions and big smiles. But I was still the designated person to answer the phone, translate and talk to people.
In 2 weeks after being in the USA, our Social worker Mr. Kay came and said that he found a job for Felix at the General Elevator company. Felix will have to take a bus to work and find his way around town. Evelyn had an old bicycle, so Felix used it to get to a bus stop.
I stayed home with Masha. I cleaned and cooked and started to feel more comfortable and at ease with my surroundings.
We were introduced to more families, who were so helpful, loved to teach and show us the American way of life. In the beginning of  March, And Felix worked for a few weeks, Dorothy (the landlady) took us to the bank to open the checking account. I COULD NOT understand, how it worked... How the little piece of paper could substitute money? I did not even know what questions to ask...I just listened. But after we made our first deposit, and after I wrote my first check for rent, I understood... We were on our way! I loved it! We were in charge of our lives. We will work hard, we will save, and we will be happy. We did not have to say it, we knew it!

Our friends started talking about buying a car. A CAR????? For us??????? Martin said that he will help. He also explained that having a car in the USA is a necessity, not a luxury. We need it to get around. And he did help to buy our first car! It was cheap, and looked like an ambulance. It was white and big, but it was ours!
Martin (he helped to buy our first car), Linda, Marina, Sylvia, Masha, Ida, and Felix ~ March 1976

My first doctors appointment went very well, even though I was nervous and uneasy. He was gentle, kind and attentive and said that the baby is doing very well, but I need to take vitamins and eat more.
I am so sad that I did not write the names of all the doctors that helped us. I would love nothing more than to express my gratitude and thankfulness to them: to my obstetrician, to the pediatrician, who took such a great care of Masha and Elizabeth, the dentist who helped to save my teeth. Literally!
I am looking back and thinking how lucky we are, how very fortunate!

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