I know about the Chicago weather from one Christmas there! I believe that was the trip with the chocolate mousse.

We stayed in Evanston in a grand, old hotel. I remember the immense tree in the lobby and a Hanukkah party in the ballroom. The night of the party, I escaped our room while my father slept (I was ten years old) and went to the lobby to see the tree, but instead became fascinated with the boisterous party a few yards away. I peeked in the room of twirling bodies dancing among blue and silver decorations.

An elderly couple noticed the out-of-place girl in pajamas and kindly gave me a piece of cake before escorting me to the front desk to be returned to my father. I begged the concierge not to go in the room with me since the door was unlocked and he didn’t need to open it. My father would be furious, and rightfully so. My wish was granted, and I snuck quietly into the room while the concierge waited for our pre-arranged knock-knock-knock signal that all was well and the door locked.

My father died never knowing about my hotel escape and Hanukkah party attendance! Some secrets should never be told.

I was always a writer but lived in a bookkeeper’s body before I found Medium and broke free — well, almost. Working to work less and write more.

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