28 February 2011

we go to church every morning

The couple walk toward me, he with a cane, she in a brick-red wool coat.

They move slowly and not just because they are old. It is icy; it is treacherous.

But even on those days when the snow still covered the sidewalks—in the days just after the blizzard when shoveling felt like an archaeological expedition, layer after layer of snow and story—

even on those snowy days, I saw this couple.

He with a cane, she in a brick-red wool coat.

If I time my morning walk just right, then I will see them. Ten to eight, slowly, grandly stepping their way down Hillside.

I do not see them every morning because I do not always time it right. Sometimes the coffee doesn't get started right away. Sometimes I can't find the gloves I want to wear. Sometimes I don't get up when the alarm first goes off and so I chip away at my morning routine and my morning walk is whittled down.

Sometimes I walk slowly, too, hoping to time it just right to see them.

Walking slowly is not hard to do, once you get the hang of it. When you spend so much of your time walking with purpose:

to the car
to the office
to the post office
to church

when walking is simply a mode of transportation, a here-to-there thing, it can be hard to slow down.

But if you're in the habit of a morning walk—and though I'm not in the habit of handing out advice, I do suggest you get in the morning walk habit—then you want to slow down.

You slow down to notice the pink clouds behind City Hall and the ice tricking your eye into seeing a world made of glass {a very brittle world, indeed}. You step slowly to hear the crunch of snow, and you think of a time when the ground will not crunch beneath you. When it will be warm and you will not have to find your gloves in the early morning in order to take your walk.

They are in the habit of a morning walk. He with a cane, she in a brick-red wool coat. I want to see them every day because of the way she tucks her hand into the crook of his elbow. She's holding on to him, and you get the idea that he's been offering her his arm since they were 16. Even though now she's supporting him more than he's supporting her, he offers his arm and off they go.

I stopped them the other morning with a smile.

"Where are you going every morning?" I'd made up enough stories for them, and now I wanted the truth.

He grew up in Brooklyn; she grew up on the Upper East Side.
He fought in the D-Day invasion, where he got his limp.
They got married when they were 17, contrary to her parents' wishes.
He buys her tulips every chance he can.

But now truth: Where are you going every morning?

"To church. We go to church every morning," he said, and all three of us looked down the block to St. Petronille's, the big Catholic church with the school attached to it.

"And then after church, we go for breakfast," she speaks before his sentence is done. "I told him that for Christmas, I wanted to go out to eat more, and now we go to the bagel shop every day day. After church, of course"

"Of course," I said, wanting their routine, their familiarity, their years of knowing each other.

"And where are you going every morning?" he asked, clomping his cane up and down a bit.

"Just around. Just for a walk to begin the day before I go to work."

"Oh, how good for you! What a routine!" she said, and I swear she winked at me from behind her big glasses that draw attention to her eyes.

We all have our routines, our ways of appreciating these days we've been given. It is good to be reminded that there's pleasure in your routine.

And with that, they kept on their walk to church, he with a cane, she in a brick-red wool coat.

24 February 2011

flight delay

Sunday night, I spent four hours at the Raleigh-Durham airport, waiting and hoping for my flight to take off.

I am well-practiced at pausing in situations like this, at using what time I've been given to read or reflect or talk—but that doesn't mean I am very good at it.

This unexpected pause often comes at airports because more often than not, flights are delayed these days. At least mine are, a side effect, perhaps of flying into Chicago. The weather map on Sunday night at the Durham airport showed an icy blue gash over Chicago. One weather glitch like that&mash;apparently visibility was low at O'Hare and I do believe pilots need to see where they're landing—and the airport is set back hours.

In situations like that—unasked for changes that can be major and inconvenient—we have two basic choices: accept it or get upset.

That getting upset choice has many possible sub-choices: throw a fit that something didn't go your way. Worry about what this will do to your day, your week. Take it as an insult from the airline industry, the weather, and possibly God.

I'm not saying that flight delays aren't major inconveniences. They are. People miss weddings, bedtimes, meetings, dinners, and just time at home, which is something I crave.

All I "lost" by this four-hour delay was an early bedtime and those extra few hours at home, quiet downtime in my own space, unpacking and drinking coffee from my own mug. Compared to the people who were trying to get connecting flights home or to vacation or to a little getaway that already felt too short, my inconvenience was conveniently easy.

But disappointing as a flight delay is, you can't do anything to change it. You can't change Air Traffic Control, and I doubt you'll have much of an effect on freezing rain icing the runways, no matter how fiercely you glare at the weather map.

I've learned that you must accept these schedule changes, and I try to see them as opportunities for rest separate from the rest I get at home. I'm stuck in an airport, an in-between sort of place, neither here nor there, and I can, for example, do the chunk of reading I feel guilty about doing at home, when I think I should be vacuuming instead.

Yes, I am practiced at pausing, but no, I am still not good at it. Is this because we live in a society that values the go-go-go? Is this because I value it more than I'd care to admit?

I ask these questions for three reasons:
  1. I was sick last week, and I felt like a slacker, a weak person, a disappointment for needing to take two days off. Never in five years of working have I had to do that, and so when I didn't go to work on Friday—after not going to work on Thursday—I immediately began to doubt that decision. Was I really all that sick?

    My cough disagreed, but I kept doing this self-check in. Can you stand for more than five minutes? Then you're not that sick! Can you get food down? Then you're not that sick! Could you pull it together enough to sit at a computer, something that isn't all that physically challenging? Then you're not that sick!

    Why couldn't I just let myself be? Instead, as I laid in bed, I saw this stack of photo albums next to the chair in my bedroom, and I thought—well, I've been meaning to fill in the picture info for awhile; now could be the perfect time!

    I couldn't even lay there quietly. I couldn't even rest. I had to be doing something and I wonder: Did I want to do something so that I felt like the day was worth something? But isn't a day always worth something, just for the fact that you're in it?
  2. I'm reading The Contented Soul, and it has a whole chapter on accepting limits. On making time for rest. On being okay with not doing it all simply because it's all available. This is an excellent lesson for me, and I underlined with force in that chapter.

    Especially underlined is: "When we allow ourselves to nap when we are weary, to stay home when we are ill, to be less productive than is possible, we are respecting our human limitations."

    To stay home when we are ill: are you listening, Kamiah?
  3. A new friend emailed last week because she'd heard I was sick. How kind of her, and then she ended her email with, "When your schedule slows down a bit, perhaps we can get together!"

    Not: "When you're feeling better" but specifically about my schedule.

    She may not have been my friend very long, but she's aware of THE SCHEDULE.

    Her words made me want more space in my schedule—more spontaneity in there. I like everything that fills my days, but the combination of sickness (and guilty days at home) and a book on contentment have made me feel held hostage by my own planner, a feeling I'm not used to, and I'm reminded of a line from a poem I'll paraphrase here:

    "What is this world if, full of care, we have no time to stop and stare?"
I think these are all good and worthy considerations. How much to schedule? How much to leave open? How many hours to fill? What will really bring rest? How can you balance community time, which is important, with reflection and rest time, which I desperately need to be able to enjoy community time?

How much?

I don't know.

22 February 2011

out of coffee

I ran out of coffee last week, and I haven't been to the store since.

Do not chastise me about my priorities. In that time, I've been sick, laying in bed for what felt like days on end. I've also been to North Carolina, and I've eaten a hot dog from a place that was voted Best Hot Dog in America.

{In America, people. I at first thought it was just Best Hot Dog in Chicago, a feat all by itself. But no, it's all of America. This means that these hot dogs from Gene & Jude's beat the hot dogs you can get from the street vendors in NYC, and I have such a soft spot in my heart for those. Mostly because if I eat a lot of those during a trip to NYC, then I can justify more tickets to Broadway shows.}

How do I fit this all in, you're wondering?

Well, I do it by not doing other things, such as buying coffee at Trader Joe's. I'm so efficient.

Why run errands when there are hot dogs to be eaten and sick beds to be lain in? {Laid in? Laying in? Why are you so persnickety sometimes, English?}

But now I'm out of my sick bed, although my cough isn't and maybe it should have a sick bed of its own, although I don't know how that would be constructed. Also, it'd be cumbersome to carry around.

I'm no longer sick, and I have no coffee. The way I know I'm no longer too too sick is that I want coffee again. Ok, truth: I always want coffee, but when I have a death rattle and I'm high on cough medicine, I give near-continual lectures to myself about how coffee is not the best thing for me at that moment.

Tea is, and I don't really care for tea so I mostly end up drinking TheraFlu, which has the hilarious effect of making me so drowsy that I sometimes do not make it to my bed. I woke up on the rug in my bedroom last week when I was sick.

Now I want coffee, though, and there is none to be had in my condo.

Except for the instant kind, which I keep on hand for this dessert I make called marquise au chocolat. There are approximately 16 eggs in it, and it's served drizzled with coffee sauce. Now I want to eat that, but I don't have 16 eggs on hand; I have only instant coffee.

Which, it turns out, isn't that bad.

And that's all I wanted to say.

20 February 2011

how miss daisy helped me be a good neighbor

Once I recovered from the complete unexpectedness of getting in trouble {which you can read about in Part 1}, I realized I had two options:
  1. Fill out the form the Board required me to—stating my plan for dealing with the nuisance—and then proceed to feel like an outsider, a hated person in my own home. Seethe in anger and glare at all my neighbors. Bonus points for giving the cold shoulder while in the foyer.
  2. Talk to my neighbors. Apologize. Ask when Daisy is most excessively barking. Tell them that I'm getting one of those ultrasonic bark control things that will help train her not to bark, even when I'm not there. Apologize again and do it all with a sweet smile. Fill out the form for the Board telling them all this, but maybe leave off the part about the sweet smile. That would just sound smarmy.

I went with Option 2. I wasn't born with all this charm for no reason.

I briefly considered baking something for my neighbors—perhaps red velvet cupcakes?—but I didn't want to come off as trying too hard.

I saw myself going door to door in a 1950s full-skirted dress, complete with pearls and an apron, chirping out a “Why, good afternoon, dear neighbor! I just whipped up these cupcakes—would you like one? I decorated them with the face of my little pug. Speaking of her, why do you hate loveable creatures? Do you also hate sunshine and lollipops?

Yeah, that'd be trying too hard. I am not June Cleaver, not that June Cleaver would ever be so snarky, but I'm not even snarky June Cleaver.

I'm just plain, ordinary Kamiah who doesn't like to be in trouble and who wants to be a good neighbor.


Operation: Charm the Neighbors was a success. So much so that I considered hanging a banner over my door that read “Mission Accomplished.”

{Again with the snarkiness; I clearly was not born to be June Cleaver.}

From my upstairs neighbor—the one who keeps up on the gossip in the complex—I learned that it was Frank who complained. Frank doesn't even live in the building; he owns the unit {currently unoccupied} across the hall from me, and one day when he was there checking on it, he thought Daisy was barking excessively.

One day.

One complaint.

And I get a letter.

My upstairs neighbor also told me that he brought it up at the last Association meeting, and everyone stood up for me.

Note to self: attend meetings so that I can stand up for myself.

Note to everyone: I have kind neighbors.

My next door neighbor offered to check in on Daisy if I'm ever in a pinch—get caught at work late or whatever else is pinching me. She repeated her reassurance that she doesn't hear Daisy, and then we discovered a mutual love of French music.

An 80something woman who lives on the third floor invited me in for a 25-minute chat in her blue-carpeted, blue-walled living room. Her couch is chintz and everything else is either crystal or lace, and she told me, “You need to get a husband.”

I said, “I'm working on it.”

“Are you actively working on it, or are you just saying that you're working on it?”

I sat up straighter, ankles crossed and hands folded in my lap like I was on a house call in the Victorian era.

“Oh, actively,” I told Rosemary, eager to please this woman who acted like a Jewish grandmother but who was not, so far as the Crucifix on the wall suggested, actually Jewish.


My neighbors were charmed, and I was charmed by my neighbors.

No one hates Daisy, and I'm not a bad person, a troublemaker, an inconsiderate neighbor.

Even though the floorplan of all our apartments is the same, everyone in our building has very particular tastes.

Getting in trouble can lead to good things if you face the challenge like a grown-up and not like the scared 9-year-old you feel like.

You don't have to be June Cleaver.

This is what I learned from my trouble with Miss Daisy, who is right now sleeping as quietly as a pug can. Which is to say: she's snoring loudly, but at least she's not excessively barking.

19 February 2011

a pug katharine hepburn: my goal with daisy

I am not a negligent dog owner.

{I'm making that assertion based on Part 1 of this story, where you can read about how my little pug got me in trouble with the Association Board.}

I want to begin with this clear assertion because there are people who don't care if their dog is an excessive barker. They don't care if she's doing that because she's hungry or cold or bored or anxious—for whatever reason she's yapping away, they don't care.

I'm not like that. I'm not someone who got a dog and then seems surprised and angry when the dog exhibits dog-like behavior.

I don't want Miss Daisy to bark too much, and so I've been working with her. When I first got her, she did the normal bark-because-I'm-so-excited-you're-home thing, but I've been teaching her that she doesn't have to show her love with barking. She can be the strong but silent type, sort of like a pug Katharine Hepburn.

And she is becoming Katharine. She doesn't bark all that much when I get home now, and don't you find it amazing that dogs, little creatures who don't speak English, can be taught things? With enough repetition and reward, they will do what you ask, and maybe there's a life lesson in that.

Nor am I an oblivious dog owner.

15 February 2011

like a good neighbor

"Good fences make good neighbors."

Isn't that what Robert Frost said?

And there's my problem: I live in a condo, so I don't have a fence. I have an apartment that I own from the studs in. I have a balcony with a railing, but you wouldn't really call it a fence.

I don't have a fence; how, then, dear Robert Frost, am I supposed to be a good neighbor?

I am pondering this question because on Valentine's Day I opened not a pink, heart-shaped, rose-scented Valentine—but a letter from the Board of Governors of my Condo Association.

It read, in its overly formal and {to me} harsh language: The violation is: It has been brought to our attention that your dog is barking excessively and creating a noise nuisance. Please take action within the next 10 days to stop this nuisance.

Your dog.



I am not a good neighbor.

After processing through the letter, that is the one thought I was left with.

The goody-two-shoes part of me {which is such an essential part of me that I can tell you what kind of goody-two-shoes they are: red Mary Janes} stood, unable to speak as I held the letter and looked down at Miss Daisy.

Barking excessively? Her? With her little squished in nose? And inability to breathe well sometimes?

The sinking gut reaction to the letter quickly turned fearful: Who has been talking about me? Who have I offended without knowing? Is everyone mad at me, even my neighbors who call her Princess Daisy and gave her a "welcome to the building" present?

With that letter, I was back in elementary school, back in middle school, back when there was a clear board of authority over me and when one note—Please see me after school—could make me feel that I would never recover from the shock.

I was in trouble. With a capital T and that rhymes with D and that stands for Daisy.

Not that, to be honest, I ever really got a see me after school note, but I was the kid who lived in fear of that ever happening.

I'm still that kid. At the Art Institute on Saturday, I jumped, noticeably jumped, every time the "you're too close to the Van Gogh" alarm went off. Even though I wasn't the one who was too close. It was someone else in trouble, but the electronic warning was enough for me.

I heard it and felt the need to show my goody-two-shoes card.

So with this letter, I thought: I'm a bad neighbor. I'm in trouble.




I'm a good girl. I don't get in trouble. I follow the rules.

I've dealt with this situation, by the way. But I'm not going to tell you about that right now. I will tell you, though, that I launched a full-scale operation called Charm the Neighbors. The potential subtitle of this operation {do operations have subtitles?} is: Be the State Farm.

Right now, I will leave you with Robert Frost's poem where he says "Good fences make good neighbors," and I'd like to say that that isn't really the point of his poem, the whole fences and neighbors thing, but that's the one line everyone remembers.

So, what do you think Robert Frost is really saying?

{And you can skip the poem and go to Part 2 of the story, if you really want/hate poetry.}

Mending Wall

Something there is that doesn't love a wall,
That sends the frozen-ground-swell under it,
And spills the upper boulders in the sun,
And makes gaps even two can pass abreast.
The work of hunters is another thing:
I have come after them and made repair
Where they have left not one stone on a stone,
But they would have the rabbit out of hiding,
To please the yelping dogs. The gaps I mean,
No one has seen them made or heard them made,
But at spring mending-time we find them there.
I let my neighbor know beyond the hill;
And on a day we meet to walk the line
And set the wall between us once again.
We keep the wall between us as we go.
To each the boulders that have fallen to each.
And some are loaves and some so nearly balls
We have to use a spell to make them balance:
'Stay where you are until our backs are turned!'
We wear our fingers rough with handling them.
Oh, just another kind of out-door game,
One on a side. It comes to little more:
There where it is we do not need the wall:
He is all pine and I am apple orchard.
My apple trees will never get across
And eat the cones under his pines, I tell him.
He only says, 'Good fences make good neighbors'.
Spring is the mischief in me, and I wonder
If I could put a notion in his head:
'Why do they make good neighbors? Isn't it
Where there are cows?
But here there are no cows.
Before I built a wall I'd ask to know
What I was walling in or walling out,
And to whom I was like to give offence.
Something there is that doesn't love a wall,
That wants it down.' I could say 'Elves' to him,
But it's not elves exactly, and I'd rather
He said it for himself. I see him there
Bringing a stone grasped firmly by the top
In each hand, like an old-stone savage armed.
He moves in darkness as it seems to me~
Not of woods only and the shade of trees.
He will not go behind his father's saying,
And he likes having thought of it so well
He says again, "Good fences make good neighbors."

11 February 2011

how i survived the cold

It is cold, it is cold. I shall wear the bottom of my trousers rolled into my snow boots.

{Name the poem I'm paraphrasing. Don't you love the random pop quizzes I give? Hint: the answer to this one has nothing to do with Jane Austen or Mary Tyler Moore or a musical, answers that frequently make their appearance in my pop quizzes.}

Chicagoland, after an epic blizzard last week, has now dropped to epic lows. Getting out of bed on days when the high is 2 takes guts and determination and a space heater right next to your bed.

But yesterday, I decided to show the cold that I was not afraid of it.

I am a Midwesterner; I am prepared for adversity. My ancestors lived through this cold in a farm house with no central heating and single-pane windows, possibly burning candles made from whale fat in order to be able to read past 4 in the afternoon.

It's in my genes to overcome the weather, and I also like to think that it's my genes to be inspired by the weather and to appreciate the opportunity to be out in the weather, even when the snot is freezing in my nose.

I am not afraid of the cold, and yesterday, I wore a skirt to prove it. A sensible wool winter skirt—lest you think I was kicking caution to the wind—with tights and knee-high boots. But still: a skirt.

Windchills of 20 below?

2 feet of snow on the ground?

You do not scare me, and I will still look cute. Despite the fact that the weather makes me want to always have on 7 layers of flannel pants and a hooded sweatshirt, I wore a skirt yesterday in order to put an extra little kick in my step.

It worked.

Take that, weather.

10 February 2011

on small talk

"Aren't you going to make a comment about the weather?"

Darci at the front desk of my gym asked me that this morning at 5:30 as I stumbled in, fleece stocking cap pulled down over my eyebrows, scarf wrapped up to my nose.

We'd already gone through the normal front desk pleasantries:
"Good morning, Kamiah! How are you?"

"Really great, thanks! How are you?"

"Pretty good, too!"

This was all said on my part through the muffle of the scarf as my lungs readjusted to breathing heated air, not 21 below air.

I don't mind cold, and I don't mind small talk. I love the regularity of my daily conversation with Darci or Michael or whoever is working the front desk at the gym.

There are some things you can count on, and one of them is small talk. It will breeze you through many a situation, and I know that it's shallow and that even when you aren't fine, you say that you are when someone you don't know well asks, "How are you?" and then you have the moment of panic about lying.

I like to think of small talk as little social grace notes that get us through the day. Through the check out line, through the Starbucks ordering process, through the bank transaction process.

Those notes flit you along through the day until you get to the bigger conversations, the more serious conversations, the conversations with people who really know you.

To me, small talk is not a sign that we want to keep others at arm's length—by using the weather to keep ourselves from talking about anything more serious.

No, to me, small talk is a sign that we want to connect with others. We want to recognize that we're in this shared space or going through this shared experience, but sometimes all you have to say is, "It's cold, isn't it?!?!"

06 February 2011

100% chance of snow

What with all this snow around me, a poem I wrote in college about a snow day came back to me. Re-reading it, I felt it was very...obvious. Bland. Trying too hard.

And so I did this revision, and it may still be trying too hard, but I like it more. Maybe enough to keep working on it. Or to let it float around my head like the snow and decide that it is good enough, just the way it is.

100% Chance of Snow, Accumulating 6-8 inches by Morning

“There's a 100% chance of snow for tonight, so kids,
you may not have school tomorrow.”
Terry Swails, the weather guy on KWQC TV6, said that and I believe him.

I 100% believe him.

I can’t sleep and
I stand
on my bed
on tiptoes
to see out the window
to see the white outside.

Sinking down
under the covers
I hide my head under the pillow and
pretend tomorrow.

I pretend what tomorrow will be.

I'm sledding down our hill,
the steepest in town,
our house at the top
full of hot chocolate.

The cold catches in my throat, even though
I'm warm in my pink bedroom.

I sleep with a smile,
content in my tomorrow.

A kiss from Mama at 7:30, and
I stand
on my bed
on my tiptoes.

Out the window,
it's sandy-scraped ugly streets,
grass peeking through barely white,
a melting mess
and our hill is an asphalt grimace.

That Terry Swails is a liar,
a 100% liar.

04 February 2011

the light of the snow

What a massive snow, although massive is the wrong word. Massive implies so much brute force, and while the snow did carry much force—enough to stop a city of Big Shoulders—its force is, to me, more gentle.

Snow has force simply because it changes how we see our world.

It makes us sit down and take note.

It draws attention to itself just by being.

Look at how it piled on top of the dumpster, usually such a dull, everyday object I don't think much about. {Why would I think much about trash?}

Look at the ridge of snow outside the library entrance, a sharp angle of snow that is a small mountain chain. The endless peaks.

Look at the path carved into the snow. Look where someone ran through the thigh-deep snow, jumping with chutzpah into the frozen life. I get a little upset with them, whoever they were, for ruining the pristine white, the unbroken newness, but I can't blame them. I perhaps would've done the same thing.

Look at the light.

The whole world is blue in the early morning. A blue-gray, but not in a dull way, a mundane way, as gray normally implies.

The blue of a snowed-in morning glows from the ground up.

The snow is a blanket, and the world is cozy.

I know that's a commonly-known concept—the blanket of snow thing—but it's the early morning light that lets you see how true it is and how someone could think, even when it's 20 below, 'The snow is a blanket.'

Not that you'd want to cuddle up in it, oh no, but the early morning light makes you feel warmer and safer inside, looking out at the infused blue-gray world.

And then there is the afternoon sun. High. Clear. Hard-edged.

And that's when you see the diamonds in the snow, the sharpness of it.

The world is no longer gentle, but it's still inviting.

You step outside in five layers, inner braces for the cold that must be there to sustain such snow, and find it's not as cold as you thought.

Oh, sure, you can still see your breath, but the cold isn't crippling so much as invigorating and inspiring, and you start to feel the draw of winter sports, if only they didn't require so much bulky equipment.

The transformation periods of light are pivotal, too, and even though I perhaps shouldn't, I feel bad for people who don't get to see and know and be in that late afternoon winter sun.

People in California and Florida have beautiful, warm lives, I'm sure, but I wish they could be outside just once with a snow drift taller than they are, shoveling their driveway, and pausing, scoop of snow in the air, to sigh at the golden, clear light. The light sings at that late afternoon moment, and I want them to sigh in joy at it.

At their lengthening shadow.

At the bare trees, black veins against the yellow sky.

I wish people in California or Florida could know the sense of beauty and urgency this late afternoon sun brings, standing there with frozen fingertips but sweating under your parka.

Night is coming, hurry, hurry. There's chili or soup or casserole to be eaten in a warm kitchen, a quiet beacon surrounded by black darkness. The snow is obliterated by the dark.

Until the moon comes out and then the snow really shines.

02 February 2011

snow was falling

I want to simply stare and marvel at the snow.

I am simply staring and marveling at the snow.

Outside my window, the scene is always shifting. There's always movement, even on this day after the blizzard.

The branches on the fir are bending and dipping with the wind, which has become a tame version of itself after the 60mph winds last night.

Snow jumps from the branches, perhaps too active of a word. Mostly the snow sits on the branches, but then a gust comes, and it's gone. I've looked away, and the scene has changed. The snow that was on the trees has joined the snow that's still falling. Falling falling falling, it just keeps coming.

The scene is always shifting, and when I opened my curtains this morning, I did it with the expectation of grandeur, which is perhaps a good way to begin every day. With the expectation of something big.

I opened the curtains as if I were a producer about to step out front to introduce my newest show, an attitude that makes little sense since I had nothing to do with this show of snow.

I closed the curtains last night, something I rarely do, precisely because I wanted that moment this morning. That moment to pull back the curtains and expect to be dazzled.

"Oh my word!" I squealed. I was a kid again.

The drifts, the patterns of wind on the snow, the utter quiet, the empty streets. The snow that was still falling. What a show.


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