It's a bitter inevitability, these January days. Even December, this year so uncharacteristic in its mildness could not hold them off forever. Waking to the morning when the clear blue skies And sunshine cleverly disguise the mercury's sudden decent.
Wind creeps through the cracks where the door has warped and no longer meets its jamb. Roaring from the bowels of this humble dwelling, the ancient furnace breathes up from the floor and wrestles with the draft, struggling to overpower, but still the chill remains.
Wrapped in blankets I bury my head and breathe deeply, exhaling warm damp mist into my frozen hands. Pulling the blanket ever closer, cocooning myself, wishing I could return in spring when the cracking ice screams from across the bay and the snow banks retreat, dropping a sediment of salt and dirt onto muddy front yards.
Hot coffee and thick stews and ratty woolen sweaters are my weapons against the biting cold and the long stretches of night, while I grasp each precious minute of sunlight and count the days.