Perspective


Twenty-four degrees for the high today. In our house, where there's no insulation, the cold finds a way in through the cracks in the walls and around the windows. We learned quickly, this year, to dress in layers. To wear scarves inside. To gather in one room, beneath quilts and comforters, waiting for the space heater to work its magic.

We're cranky and irritated, cooped up, all of us, in one room with two energetic dogs and a cat. We need to get out. 

We bundle up in hats, scarves, boots and gloves; clip a leash on one of the dogs; and head for the woods.

Our breath comes out in great puffs. Our feet crunch the frozen ground. We can hear the stillness of the world as it quiets. Ahead of us is a man without a hat, his three dogs darting through the trees, barking and yipping, zipping towards us before veering away again. Besides him, besides us, the woods are empty.

The mud puddles are filled with water and frozen over with ice so thick I can't break it. But the water in the creek still flows. We cross, careful not to get our boots wet, and climb up the bank.

The water at the reservoir ripples in the wind, wind that tears at our faces and fingertips. The sky begins to spit snow.

We head towards town.

The Christmas decorations are starting to go up: White lights adorn the trees. Wreaths are on the light poles. Trees are displayed in storefront windows. Homemade ribbon candy is for sale at twenty dollars a pound: Lemon, cinnamon, peppermint. I make a note to pick some up before it's sold out.

We reach the coffee shop. I wait outside with the dog.

A man approaches. "What breed?"

"Mutt. Adopted."

He nods in approval. "All of my dogs have been used."

We move on to the feral cats who've adopted him, the stray who decided to adopt us. We stamp our feet to warm them.

My daughter and husband emerge with steaming cups of coffee. The man bids me goodbye. We walk the mile back home.

The house is warm and cozy.

We finish our coffee and I begin making shortbread cookies.

As I stand at the window rolling out dough, Grey Cat appears at the kitchen window and meows. He watches me for twenty minutes or so before wandering off in search of mice.

When I'm finished baking, I set out a bit of cream for him, so he can put on a layer of winter fat.

He's a stubborn cat and refuses to come inside to the warmth.


Labels: , ,

Writing in the Margins, Bursting at the Seams: Perspective

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Perspective


Twenty-four degrees for the high today. In our house, where there's no insulation, the cold finds a way in through the cracks in the walls and around the windows. We learned quickly, this year, to dress in layers. To wear scarves inside. To gather in one room, beneath quilts and comforters, waiting for the space heater to work its magic.

We're cranky and irritated, cooped up, all of us, in one room with two energetic dogs and a cat. We need to get out. 

We bundle up in hats, scarves, boots and gloves; clip a leash on one of the dogs; and head for the woods.

Our breath comes out in great puffs. Our feet crunch the frozen ground. We can hear the stillness of the world as it quiets. Ahead of us is a man without a hat, his three dogs darting through the trees, barking and yipping, zipping towards us before veering away again. Besides him, besides us, the woods are empty.

The mud puddles are filled with water and frozen over with ice so thick I can't break it. But the water in the creek still flows. We cross, careful not to get our boots wet, and climb up the bank.

The water at the reservoir ripples in the wind, wind that tears at our faces and fingertips. The sky begins to spit snow.

We head towards town.

The Christmas decorations are starting to go up: White lights adorn the trees. Wreaths are on the light poles. Trees are displayed in storefront windows. Homemade ribbon candy is for sale at twenty dollars a pound: Lemon, cinnamon, peppermint. I make a note to pick some up before it's sold out.

We reach the coffee shop. I wait outside with the dog.

A man approaches. "What breed?"

"Mutt. Adopted."

He nods in approval. "All of my dogs have been used."

We move on to the feral cats who've adopted him, the stray who decided to adopt us. We stamp our feet to warm them.

My daughter and husband emerge with steaming cups of coffee. The man bids me goodbye. We walk the mile back home.

The house is warm and cozy.

We finish our coffee and I begin making shortbread cookies.

As I stand at the window rolling out dough, Grey Cat appears at the kitchen window and meows. He watches me for twenty minutes or so before wandering off in search of mice.

When I'm finished baking, I set out a bit of cream for him, so he can put on a layer of winter fat.

He's a stubborn cat and refuses to come inside to the warmth.


Labels: , ,

7 Comments:

At November 24, 2013 at 5:30 PM , Blogger Sandra Tyler said...

Gosh do you have anything besides a space heater? Still. lovely piece as always.

 
At November 24, 2013 at 5:35 PM , Blogger Kelly Garriott Waite said...

Oh, no. We have a massive boiler in the basement. But I keep the heat at 63 because we've been told that to heat similar houses in our area is 300 a month minimum. Trying to beat that.

 
At November 24, 2013 at 5:39 PM , Blogger Raige Creations said...

stay warm! I liked reading about your trek into town.
We all stayed inside, under covers on the couch today. I only ventured out for pizza, too lazy to cook. But cooking warms the house too.

 
At November 24, 2013 at 5:59 PM , Anonymous injaynesworld said...

Love the style and cadence of this piece. I wouldn't last long in your neck of the woods. I'm a California weather weenie.

 
At November 24, 2013 at 7:03 PM , Blogger Ruby Manchanda said...

I got the feel of the cold totally

 
At November 25, 2013 at 4:49 AM , Blogger ofcorso said...

Last spring - April I think - the weather remained winter but I was of a summer mind and refused to continue building fires in the stove that is our only heat. Instead we ran space-heaters. Our electric bill that month was over $300 - about 3 times our average. Careful...

 
At November 25, 2013 at 6:55 AM , Blogger Kathy said...

This made me cold just reading this! Still you painted a beautiful picture with your words. ♥ Makes me want to wrap up in blankets and turn up the heat! BRrrrrr! ♥

 

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