Her step-mother was con il bambino, and Ysenia understood now that perhaps she was close to having another baby. As Ysenia hurried up with the sweeping of the floor, shaking the rug out the window, she quickly set the table up for the family to eat dinner when they came back. She was excited with the freedom of not having to pick up after her sisters and brothers. They were such nuisances and required a lot of her help. Sometimes she yearned to go up the trail to Olina to just get away from the raucous children. They were her brother and sisters, she still loved them.
Ysenia put on her overcoat and stepped outside onto the step. The flakes of snow where bigger now, coating the street and the roofs of the little village. The mountains behind her village were barely visible with the cloud coverage. Ysenia knew that the “Olina” area above her village was very likely getting a lot of snow right now. It would only be a matter of months when she would walk up there with her Papa and help him take care of the new calves that were coming. It was a very meager life, but Ysenia felt deep inside her that this life was only temporary here in Switzerland. She dreamed big things and that included a lot of dancing!
Her friend Giulietta was skipping rope on the street with her little sister Genevieve. She had managed to talk her parents out of going to church, too. Giulietta was Ysenia’s first cousin, but she was more like a best friend. They shared all of their secrets. Giulietta shared a magazine with Ysenia. It had advertisements of what fashions young women were wearing in Milano. Milano was only about two hours away on the train. Giulietta’s older sister, Francesca, had moved to Milano to become a servant there. She was a nanny for five younger children. When her sister came home for Christmas she brought the magazine to her little sister. Giulietta had to hide the magazine, from her sister, because she wanted to keep it to look at. The fashions on the young women looked so expensive. The dress she was wearing, and the apron over it, made her look so poor. Her family lived a meager life and for her to look at these longingly would only make her family angry.