I guess it’s suitable that I start this year off in the dark. It seems like it is dark all the time. Even when the sun is up, everything just seems darker. And cold. Even right now I am bundled up in a cozy blanket. We are just patiently waiting for the snow to catch up with the season. And then winter fun can begin. We sit, cuddled in blankets. Reading, playing board games we got for Christmas. Chess, chinese checkers, solitaire. Brett has head his head in a book since he unwrapped his complete set of Harry Potter books. While the river and pond freeze and thaw, freeze and thaw. We quietly sit waiting until winter settles in long enough to lace up our skates and feel the icy air in our lungs to wake up up from our hibernation.
One winter when I was a kid, it got so cold, so fast and with no snow on the ground, that the gravel pits in my small town froze crystal clear like a sheet of glass. My best friend wasn’t allowed to skate there, her Mom was afraid she would go through the ice, but my Dad went out and checked the thickness to make sure it was safe. Once we had his okay, we gingerly skated out, watching the sandy bottom drop off to the towering seaweed. We glided like sailboats as far as the wind could blow us, which to a bunch of kids seemed like miles and miles. And when we fell, we would lie facedown, peering through the ice to see what we could see. I will never forget seeing the smiling face of Colonel Sanders peaking up at me from a Kentucky Friday Chicken paper napkin floating under the ice.
Hotel room mornings. The blackout curtains do their job. We sleep until 9am. The housekeeping cart waits, silently in the hallway. Waiting for the guests to descend on the waterpark. Soon we will put on our damp bathing suits, and take the elevator downstairs. The Wooly Mammoth. Canada Vortex. Bobcat Falls. We will search valiantly for a table to put our towels. Tomorrow before we head home, we will drive along the gorge, past Clifton Hill. This city, world famous and normally busting at the seems with tourists from the far corners of this planet. But in January, the crowds will be non-existent and we get a parking spot in the front row. Yet you and your brother will be more interested in riding the twin escalators in the visitor centre. Up and down. Up and down. Up and down. Up and down. Eventually we drag you outside to see Niagara Falls. One of the 7th Wonders Of The World, or so we thought. It turns out it isn’t. Most of the places on the list google provides me I have never even heard of.
Every few weeks, I head to The City for groceries. To the store that says “would you like bags, or will you be using boxes?” I’m sure I could think ahead and bring reusable bags with me, but I don’t. I choose boxes every time. Good citizen of the Universe I am, recycling those heavy duty boxes that have hauled cauliflower, strawberries and pineapples from warmer corners of the planet. Sadly no. I pick boxes for their playability. Nothing lights up our house like a fresh stash of cardboard. Untarnished from sharpies, scissors or duct tape yet. The first duty for this batch was desk and chairs to write your newest novel. By tonight, bed and nightstand, where you plan on spending the night.
Waiting. Waiting. Until the first glimpse of Daddy’s truck comes into view. Supper is imminent. And then let the “chasing game” begin. The kitten? She is waiting for her supper too.