the kind of cold that pushes every other topic out of the way.
I mean, what else is there to think about when the water faucet's incessantly dripping in the sink to keep the pipes from freezing, and the dog's whimpering at the door but refusing to go outside, and the power company's texting scary warnings about the overloaded power grid.
My anxious mind has a field day with bad weather. The what ifs and the what will we dos.
We gather up candles, just in case, and my husband readies the generator. We brave the cold to shovel the driveway and clear off the car in ten-minute shifts. We bundle up the dog in her cozy winter coat and coax her out the door with treats. At night we drive the icy roads to pick up my brother at the airport. Miraculously, his flight isn't cancelled, and only one weird snafu with the luggage, but it all works out.
a neighbor snow blowing our sidewalks and
another neighbor bringing over homemade fudge (he has a bushy white beard and when I see him trudging through the snow, I call him Santa, and he laughs and says he gets that a lot this time of year) and
a dear friend risking a drive across town to bring gifts and homemade treats (specially made for my brother who is vegan) and
the kids calling, and family calling, and friends calling, everyone safe and warm and happy.
At night my brother and I do a puzzle like old times, Bing Crosby crooning in the background about white Christmases, and I tell a story about one of my favorite volunteers at the library, eighty years old, but still coming in twice a week to help and always with a smile. Hello! I always say when she walks through the doors, How are you?
She always answers the same way. I'm here, Jody, and that means it's a good day.
Christmas morning and the water plinks in the sink. It's eight degrees outside, but so very warm inside.