After months of below-freezing temperatures, this morning the thermometer read 40F. By the time the dogs and I went outside, however, the wind that is heralding the next cold front had arrived, and I had to run back in the house to get a hat and gloves. The driveway was that combination of mud and ice that means you don\’t look up much while you\’re walking.
The dogs didn\’t care, though. They found a spot with really deep snow in the side yard and flung themselves about in it. Lexi was all rejuvenated. Whether she was reacting to the temperature or the wind, I actually caught her making play bows at Wolfie. When she got tired of that she dug a tunnel with her snout and filled her ears with snow, then ran up to me and nearly knocked me over, pressing herself against my legs and requesting a back rub.
We didn\’t stay out long. When we came back to the house the dogs were a muddy mess, and Wolfie\’s little chewed spot on his foreleg was bleeding where he had scraped it on the icy crust. (The little chewed spot is a sore that manifests whenever Wolfie feels that life is not as much fun as it could be…and that has certainly been the case for him lately.) I took off my muddy boots and saw that in the backyard, enough snow has melted to reveal an appalling number of dog poops.
We need another snow storm to make everything clean again. Or else we need an early spring. Or else…
But when I catch myself complaining about winter, I remember that it\’s winter that keeps Vermont the way I like it, mostly empty of malls and traffic lights and traffic jams and road rage and all those things I came here to get away from.
Besides, to cheer up all I have to do is look out (averting my eyes from the dog poops) and notice the afternoon light, which begins to change and strengthen just in time to keep me from giving up and fleeing south.