Maisie’s Adventures in Winter Wonderland

This weekend was one of the craziest weekends of my life. After having Thursday and Friday off from school due to a blizzard, we drove down to New York (the state, not the city) on Saturday because my dad had planned my grandpa’s birthday party for Sunday.

Before hitting the road on Saturday morning, Mom read the news report and told Dad that it was a bad idea to drive to New York this weekend because there was a winter storm warning in place for all of New England. One thing you should know about Dad is that he is one of the most stubborn people you will ever meet in your life, second only to Grandpa. Dad is a lawyer by training, and although he doesn’t argue in court, he can get his way in any situation you throw at him. From the beginning, Mom did not stand a chance against Dad. It was his way or the highway, except in this case, his way actually involved a highway, so that metaphor did not make sense there.

After an hour of arguing, Mom finally gave into Dad and we had a rather uneventful drive until we reached central Connecticut. While we were in a Dunkin Donuts parking lot getting ready to go back on the road after a pit stop, Dad’s stepmother called and told him that Grandpa was sick. Although that meant that Grandpa’s birthday party was probably off, Dad decided to keep going because we were already halfway to my aunt and uncle’s house in New York and he thought that we could still have Grandpa’s birthday party.

We got to my aunt and uncle’s house in New York after about 2 more hours of driving. At this point, Dad still did not want to call off Grandpa’s party, but my Auntie Michelle said that there was no way that our relatives from Philadelphia would drive up to New Jersey in a snowstorm and said that we had to cancel the party. Just then, Dad got another call from his stepmom and found out that Grandpa had to go to the hospital. Dad decided that we would stay overnight and leave the next morning.

As if the events of Saturday weren’t outrageous enough, Sunday’s forecast included another winter storm warning, and I woke up to see more intense snowfall than I had seen when school was cancelled on Thursday.

“Brad, we are not driving home in this weather!” Mom said.

“You probably shouldn’t drive back to Massachusetts in this weather,” Auntie Michelle said. Nonetheless, we packed our bags and got in the car. Dad promised that he would drive slowly and exercise caution. Mom had me put on the Hamilton soundtrack to ease her fear of a potential accident.

When we crossed over the Connecticut border, the windshield was getting too cloudy to see out of. Dad made out the faint outline of an exit sign, and we pulled over to wipe off the windshield. At this point, Mom was absolutely terrified. The snow was so heavy and the windshield so cloudy that we couldn’t see more than a few feet ahead of us. I knew it was time to call in the reinforcements, my grandmothers. I texted Granny and Grandma and told them that my father was insisting upon driving in the middle of a freak snowstorm. Granny called me and asked where we were.

“We’re in Connecticut,” I answered.

“You’ll be fine, just keep going,” Granny said.

“That was no help whatsoever. Love you!” I said and hung up the phone.

I knew that I had to seek out other reinforcements. We were inside a Panera, so I told the people behind the counter about our current predicament. They said it wasn’t safe to drive back to Massachusetts. Mom asked a random guy his opinion. The guy, whose name was Josh, turned out to be a professional snowplow driver.

“What kind of car do you guys drive?” Josh asked.

“Subaru,” I answered.

“You’ll be fine. The roads tend to get clearer outside of Hartford,” Josh said.

Mom was still apprehensive, but at this point, Dad was getting the car ready to go. We had no choice but to follow Dad’s lead. Lo and behold, keeping a steady pace of 35 miles per hour, about half our normal highway driving speed, we got back to Massachusetts safely.

My favorite moment from the drive home was when we stopped at a Texas Roadhouse restaurant to use the bathroom. My family, being snobby Northerners, took the opportunity to mock everything in the restaurant. There was a jukebox-like machine that let you select songs to play in the restaurant, and my little brother selected about 10 or 15 Blake Shelton songs, so for the next half an hour, the only music playing in the restaurant would be a continuous stream of Blake’s hits. The poor patrons and waitstaff will never know what hit them!


Trump Presidency–it hasn’t even been a month and I need it to end!

DISCLAIMER: This article is extremely unpolished as I a) am very angry about the current political climate and b) desperately needed to throw something together to post for you guys.

First off, let me just say this: Oy. Oy vey.

Secondly, I can’t believe this is happening. We went from one of the most classy, experienced, fantastic, and amazing presidents this country has ever seen to an orange blob who is destroying everything in his wake.

I felt a little bit better after going to the Women’s March in Boston with my mom and her friend. It was so empowering to be surrounded by 200,000 beautiful people who stood for equality, justice, and freedom for all, including the incomparable Elizabeth Warren. I missed the memo on the pussy hat, but I wore the pink beanie I always wear, so I didn’t feel too out of place.

However, within a week, Trump reinstated DAPL and Keystone XL, barred federal funding for overseas groups performing abortions, actually promised to build the infamous wall, abolished Obamacare, preventing government funding to sanctuary cities, and, in my opinion, worst of all, suspended Syrian refugees from entering the country indefinitely and blocked people from seven predominantly Muslim countries, including those with visas and green cards.

I honestly don’t know what to do or say at this point. Trump’s actions have me at a complete loss for words. Not only is religious intolerance extremely wrong, it scares me as a Jewish person for obvious reasons. Religious freedom is not only a Constitutional right, but a basic human right, and the proposed “Muslim registry” and this arbitrary ban completely violate those rights for thousands of people.

Trump claims that he wants to “make America great again” by barring immigrants and refugees. America is, and has always been, a nation of immigrants. Native Americans are the only people who are, well, native Americans. Even the Pilgrims came from England, and if I recall correctly, Trump’s grandfather was an immigrant. In fact, without immigration, Trump wouldn’t have any wives!

The Syrian civil war is a humanitarian crisis, and if we’re not doing everything we can as a country to help the civilians needlessly targeted by the bloodshed, we’re doing something wrong. In the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, it states that all people have the right to seek asylum in another country if they are not safe in their home countries. The US signed the Declaration, so by not upholding every part of it, this country is violating it. If we do not adhere to the Declaration, humanity will suffer, and too many people have already encountered hardship. America needs to step it up as the leader of the free world. This is not the country that my great-grandparents risked their lives to come to, and this is not the country that the international community once looked upon as a shining example of democracy. So Donald, if you really want to make America great again, either get with the program or get out of the way.