We have missed much school this winter for snow, or mornings too cold to ask small children to wait for their buses in these stark, windy valleys. In our own stark, windy valley the creek has frozen and the pine trees at the edge of the yard stand tall– when I wake before dawn to receive the automated phone call that There Will Be No School Today– I see the clean crescent of moon, yellow, setting behind their highest branches.
We are living room sleepers until this cold passes, carpet campers, gleaning the residual heat of the kerosene heater we turn off for sleep so that we aren’t poisoned in the night. In the morning Olive sticks her face flat into mine, meows for hunger so that I can hear. Low lamps, gas flame, coffee stirred, cat crunching and munching. Outside the snow will stay until it turns to water, until children go to school again.
These are the cold first days of the new year– they feel this way each time, so we shouldn’t be surprised.
Another thing that January brings– Mike Shea’s yearly video.
Click for smiles. And Raymond.