Settle In

Durrie Winter Scene

The first flakes are dusting the sidewalk. My son and his little buddy are engaged in a take-no-prisoners Pokemon battle in the living room. They munch on microwave popcorn and negotiate rules while I re-pot the frozen rosemary rescued from the balcony. Beans for soup are soaking on the kitchen counter. Next to them, a bowl of sourdough rises under a cloth.

My Mister stops by after his final run to the store. He delivers a sack of whole wheat flour, two head of garlic, and several minutes of hugs. While all of these are unnecessary for survival, it’s nice to be provisioned. Cooking is my second-favorite snow day diversion. My first includes hugging, but  because my Mister’s kiddos need him home to batten down the hatches, this fleeting squeeze will have to suffice.

After he rolls out into the ominous gray, I tear cardboard for the fire and stack towels by the front door. Noodle tip-taps around the living room. She snuffles up fallen popcorn, stopping by the window to gaze at neighbor dogs getting their last long walks before the whiteout.

After a strategic play involving Rapidash and Magmar, my boy demolishes his friend. They toss cards aside and yank on coats. Bug presses his feet into the new boots we bought at Sears yesterday. They were sold out of almost every size and we had to dig through shelves to find a  pair that wouldn’t give him blisters. With a shriek and a whoop, the two race out into the deepening white.

Here I wait without waiting. For the first time, the season’s hushed pulse matches my own. Soon enough, this low-bellied sky will carry in the night. We will play music. We will dance with the dog. We will finish Rick Riordan’s Lost Hero and crawl into flannel sheets as winter, at last, blankets our world.


Image: George Henry Durrie, Winter Scene in Connecticut, 1858, at the Smithsonian American Art Museum



2 thoughts on “Settle In”

  1. sounds like yer all set for riding this out.

    After it all, the events of the holidays,
    the dinner tables passing like great ships,
    everybody made soups for a while.
    Cooked and cooked until the broth kept
    the story of the onion, the weeping meat.
    It was over, the year was spent, the new one
    had yet to make its demands on us,
    each day lay in the dark like a folded letter.
    Then out of it all we made one final thing
    out of the bounty that had not always filled us,
    out of the ruined cathedral carcass of the turkey,
    the limp celery chopped back into plenty,
    the fish head, the spine. Out of the rejected,
    the passed over, never the object of love.
    It was as if all the pageantry had been for this:
    the quiet after, the simmered light,
    the soothing shapes our mouths made as we tasted.

    “Everybody Made Soups” by Lisa Coffman

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