Cabin fever

Today the finials adorning our deck’s railings wear tall white caps, looking like Siberian soldiers. Ten inches of the heavy wet stuff covers our lawn and driveway and decorate every branch of the trees surrounding our house in Chapel Hill. That’s a lot. Twice already in this new year winter storms have dumped snow on us, prompting the closing of schools and numerous crashes on our streets and highways.

This is January, after all, and one might expect a share of wintry weather, even in the South, but two in fairly quick succession might be a tad much. Kinda takes the edge off our admiration of its quiet beauty a bit.

There’s a grocery shopping list on the dining room table waiting for me to pick it up and head to the store, but on this second afternoon of the snow blanket, I can’t safely get out of our driveway, not yet. I might try it an hour from now. The thermometer outside our sliding glass doors shows 40 degrees, and the yard is bathed in bright sunlight. Melting is taking place, slowly.

We moved to North Carolina 41 years ago from South Florida, where swimming in the ocean is common this time of year. We hoped and expected to see the change of seasons, and, to our delight, we have, enjoying them all, to a point.

The snow is beautiful and quiet. It encourages us to make the most of our forced insideness for a couple of days. If the power remains on, and there is food in the fridge, it’s not all bad. We can take it, for a day or two. That will be enough.

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