Winter Wonderland (in a mini-skirt)

I’m hiking up the driveway in a denim mini-skirt, knee-high leather boots, and an ivory tweed dress coat. There’s an R.E.I. daypack on my back with hip and chest straps, a handlamp across my forehead, and the half-moon high, high above shining down on the snow-covered slopes. When the tires on my Volvo started spinning out and the engine was revved up to 4,000 rpms before I could even crest the first hill, I proceeded into reverse, parked, and huffed up the hill on foot.

And yes, I have a box in the back of my car for just this sort of situation. I’m buzzed from excellent company and a bottle of syrah, it’s in the teens outside, and there’s black ice all over the driveway from the spring runoff. I could/should change into the hiking boots, long underwear, fleece vest, and wool gloves that are at my fingertips for this occasion. But the air is knawing at my skin and there are bobcat tracks all up and down the drive and I’d rather huff it cold than get stark nekkid in the middle of the road just to change into some temporary, albeit warmer, garb.

I’ve been fighting a bug all week and tomorrow I really have to put in a full day’s work regardless. There are manuscripts for a literary journal to consider. There is the work of the weekly critique group. There is a professional critiquing job that needs to be done (one chapter) by tomorrow and a business email to follow up on. Today, I began reading through all of my MFA work from the semester and tomorrow I need to finish that. I consider this reviewing my foundation so that I may build form it from a more informed perspective in the coming weeks. But it takes time, and I’ve got to invest.

With any luck, the snow will melt so I can get my car up the driveway and unload the giant Frasier fir swag and the box of ornaments from my parents, then load up with trash and recycling to deal with on my way to karate class later in the day. Without such luck, it’ll be a few more trips up and down with baggage in tow, though I’m sure it will be much easier in the daylight and “warmer” air.

Twenty days until the residency. Seems like a good while, but really, time will fly. I’m hoping for solid sleep and a happier immune system tomorrow so I can take a big bite out of this to-do list.

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