Josie and the Snow by Helen E. Buckley, illustrated by Evaline Ness (1964).

Josie and the Snow by Helen E. Buckley, illustrated by Evaline Ness (1964).

A quickie on the eve of my town's foretold freeze ( an anticipated - 43° F windchill for ye non-midwestern readers... all but the two of you who occasionally check in from Antarctica are gasping right now. Yeah. I see you.). For all of my colorful, magpie qualities; I cannot help but love the opaline whiteout of a Chicago winter.

Because a city swaddled in snow positively hums electric. There's a hushed aliveness you feel as you skid through grounded, waist-high weather; knowing that down the abandoned streets, buried under loaded silence; people gather: making carrot soup, playing cards; scattered around living rooms in flannel pajama bottoms, and in kitchens, clutching hot coffee rations. Whole worlds unseen.

I rode two trains home today (and two trains back), fumbled past rows and rows of stately Victorian homes frosted like wedding cakes, to have lunch with my family. Topics of discussion: civilized Frenchmen drinking coffee and Pastis with their morning papers, the logistics of fashioning a sock bun, the (alleged) fact that there exists an equal amount of human to ant weight on this planet, i:e, for every 120 pounds of human, an equal 120 pounds of ants bustles underground. We talked about a man who pours molten lava down ant hills to reveal the intricacies and surprising enormity of their hidden worlds -- seems terribly invasive, exposing that universe. But I'm not distracted by this purported cruelty for long because there is wine with lunch. There should always be wine with lunch. My aunt has prepared roasted turkey and red pepper pesto (which I'm encouraged to eat because it contains only a little cheese) for sandwiches; my beautiful family is gathered around our dining room table, and there is so much love in our microcosm; our world unseen.

And as I wander this tundra; lips chapped, eyes clear; all I feel is warmth.


(That was today, 2:5. On 2:4, I  bought a used leopard print J. Crew sweater and all I managed to write all day was my signature on a purchase receipt. I have one more day off allotted for the week... and also this really great sweater.)

Rose TruesdaleComment