The Winter of Chuck’s Discontent

The misty, thermal inversion which I’m going to refer to as The Dark Times is upon us. Warm air pushes down on cold and traps it in the valley and stays until a strong wind or storm blows it out. It is gray and tragic. It rivals Los Angeles smog on a bad day. Here, on such days, people can be ticketed for having wood burning in their fireplaces. The aged snow has that nasty crust across the top which reminds one of the power of nature, our human frailty against it and the need for NASA inspired space age fabrics to cover the skin. It is the time of gin soaked melancholy and endless shivers.

When the Former Congressman (who has his own version of high-tech coat called fur) goes out to do his morning business, he walks gingerly across the snow. He does so because he has just woken up, hasn’t had his coffee and if he doesn’t he might sink down through the crust and get his legs wet. He is tentative. This is a marked difference to his reaction if the snow is fresh or is falling. If it’s falling, he’ll raise his nose skyward and sniff, hoping to catch a few flakes on his nose before he tears through the snow, crazed and giddy. Scientists are baffled as to why he loves the fresh powder and disdains the crust. My theory is that he was obviously a professional skier in a past life. Despite his love of snow, on these freezing mornings he looks fragile and small; like he’d rather be inside. It is on these mornings that once he’s done, I call him and he comes back to me taking the route of least resistance, happy to be returning to the warm kitchen where he will beg incessantly. And I will inevitably buckle and give him a treat.

If you have a pet. Love it today. Some are without theirs.