MooseMarch2017For several weeks it’s been cold in Homer, colder than Michigan and southwest Virginia. Ice cleats are de rigueur, and I’ve had to wear my down jacket. Thank God, it’s black; otherwise I would look as big as Bibendum himself. And I finally hired someone to plow the driveway, because the snow accumulation was more than I could manage, even with the serious shovel recommended by my plucky neighbor Fedora, an Alaska Native who knows what she’s talking about.

The effort of going somewhere when it’s this cold (believe me, it’s still doesn’t take much where I live) makes me consciously grateful for safe arrivals, even if it’s just down the hill and back for salad greens and hot Hungarian paprika from Save-U-More. Still, I’ve enjoyed this cold snap. Spicy soup tastes better, lamplight is cozier.

This is the cold that I expected when I moved here in 2012, and in a way it’s made things seem right-side-up. Except that they’re not. Alaska and the entire Planet Earth are dangerously warm, and so much else that I want to be upright is listing dangerously. There’s no comfort in the news, so I take it where I can find it: Sunlight returning, a moose resting in the alder thicket out back , and warm winter memories . . .

Kingsport, Tennessee, sledding in Preston Woods and ice skating on Cox’s Pond . . . Marion, Virginia, when snow closed school for weeks, and neighbors took turns hosting children in the daytime and family dinners several nights a week . . . Snowed in with friends at our house in Sky Valley, Georgia, making paper puppets to perform an Italian folk tale . . .

For the aphids who’ve been sucking life out of spruce trees, this may be a bad winter, but for this Scots-Irish hillbilly cheechako, it’s mighty fine.

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