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It is currently -3C outside which, for my US readers (most of you) is 26.6F and I am freezing, along with the rest of the population. Thankfully, our apartment was only rebuilt a few years ago, which means we have a house that was built to be warmed by a heating system and not by wood fireplaces from the 14th, 15th, 16th, (take your pick) century. Our old apartment in the center had windows bigger than me and a “heating” unit that an Easybake oven could overpower. We lived under blankets hiding from the draft and then would transfer to bed to sit under the electric blanket.

Florence isn’t made for cold, it seems, and neither were Florentines. Walking around today, many were bundled up to their foreheads in layers of scarves and hoods and puffy jackets. The news just the other day highlighted a few areas of the Arno river that had frozen over – not like Maine frozen (omg I saw the videos of Sebago Lake recently – it’s gorgeous!) – just like a-seagull-can-stand-on-it-frozen. That amount is still a big deal here, though, and I can understand, because after living here for six years, my New England blood has thinned and I, too, am decked out in scarves and knee-length jackets, or I’d be shaking like a leaf.

If only there was a bit of snow to make the cold worth it.

Tonight as we hunkered down on the couch away from the cold, we watched the US come out of a bit of a deep freeze as Trump reopened the government…temporarily. Just to hold the suspense? We’ll see how the next three weeks play out, but the biggest thing this decision means for Rami and me is that there is going to be an incredible amount of talk on immigration in the time span. That is what we all need to focus on now – what will this deal be on immigration? Can the US politicians really find a way to negotiate instead of argue and avoid?

If we could all ask for reform to the immigration system, maybe the thought of a wall would become inutile simply because we can resolve the issue at the core. Don’t focus on the popular stories that will come through the news in the next few weeks – please remember to look up what negotiations are happening with this wall deal before February hits. If we’re knowledgeable, we can make a difference. I hope that by this time next month, the people caught in the middle of this US immigration mess will feel promise instead of more heartbreak. The people of the US can make the difference, we just have to pay attention – and make sure we don’t start another deep freeze in February. 

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