Atlas Break

The longest night is over. There’s a band of grey in the east, and the cedars are dancing on a frigid wind. The weather folk say snow today, with an additional helping of freezing rain. The moisture shouldn’t move in until afternoon, but already things are frozen solid–I had to move the birdbath’s dish so it can drain when the polar stuff is done.

We don’t often get snow here (or we never used to, thanks, climate change!) so people are losing their minds with preparations on top of the usual holiday ruckus. I’m sure kids are thrilled at the prospect of a Christmas looking like a Currier-Ives tin. I heard Fred Meyer’s (Kroger’s, for my nonlocals) was out of deicer and rock salt. Even though I got out of the house early yesterday, there were still too many people out and about, and all in various stages of deep stress.

I didn’t put out a vigil candle this year. Just didn’t have the spoons, and I figured others could do the observances to bring the sun back. Intellectually I know that flaming ball of nuclear hydrogen will handily outlast our species, but spiritually it’s a different matter. Ah well, I’ve carried the world on my shoulders long enough. Even Atlas needed a break every now and again.

The revisions are finally gathering steam–4k in new text added yesterday, even with significant deletions in the mix. I have a few bad-tempered things to say at this point in the process, but professionalism means keeping those under wraps, downing another quad-shot (or cuppa) and simply getting back to work. Illness and holiday scramble have put me even further behind schedule, but that was only to be expected. I knew that jury duty nonsense would cost me serious time and annoyance; there should be some sort of recourse for being forced to sit near maskless mouthbreathers.

You can tell I’m in a bright, cheery mood. Relief is just as exhausting as tension, after a certain point.

Boxnoggin wants his morning walkies, but he does not want the cold wind. Our ramble will be severely truncated since I don’t want either of us freezing to death; naturally, he will blame me for the weather since I am In Charge, and clearly the immortal creature he lives with–who produces light with a flick of her fingers and food at will–is capable of dealing with little things like rain and ice. He seems to think I have ineffable reasons for such misery, and bears with it patiently, grumbling only the minimum amount.

For all that, he took forever to find a place suitable for peeing this morning. I can perhaps be forgiven for wondering aloud, “I got out of a warm bed for this?”

He gave me a look of hearty agreement, yet could not unload until he found the precise perfect spot. This doesn’t bode well for our midmorning constitutional, but maybe the idea that a certain amount of prudent haste is advisable will work its way through his thick skull. A subzero wind chill does tend to concentrate the mind wonderfully, at least in the initial stages.

Ah, yes. One more thing I wanted to say. Some of you have reached out with kind words; thank you very much, they are appreciated. I cannot respond to every single email in detail, but please know your missives are attentively read, and cherished.

I suppose I’d best get some toast, find my gloves, and prepare for a polar trek. It will make returning home even nicer than usual, which is saying something. We’ve gone through one more wicket; only a few remain until the new year.

Stay warm, my beloveds.