Where have I been? Mostly, right where I am now–sitting at my desk having a staring match with the computer screen. Well, to be honest, there’s been more reading and typing than simple staring. I’m swallowed up in revising Gates the Hours Keep.

The dogs are snoozing in my office. Sadie’s stretched out by the closet, and Tali’s curled up under my desk. I’ve opened the curtains to have a glimpse of bright blue sky, and except for the dormant brown lawns, January looks like April.  Sometime this afternoon, I’ll slip outside and steal some sunshine for myself.

A warm winter should be welcome, but the first winter without my dad shouldn’t be so extraordinary. I want dull skies and bitter, biting winds. I want a world of grays and browns, not sprouting columbines and cloudless blue. When I walk the dogs today, the sun will warm my face and I’ll think what a rare gift such a  winter day is. On days like today I feel more alive. And, then I think of Dad. He would be out tinkering on broken-down machinery or sitting in the tavern praising the warmth but commenting on the dryness.

Days such as today are a gift I can’t share with him. No happiness comes without my remembering he’s not here. Yet, happiness comes. In friends’ smiles and sunshine and smelly dog fur, it comes.

The one good snowfall we’ve had this winter was Tali’s first. Watching her and Sadie play in the snow, I laughed and laughed. Here’s a glimpse of that day. I hope it makes you smile.

 

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