Winter Break Snapshot


So much for the holidays. Back from Cork, back to Dublin, which has somehow been transformed into a Winter Blunderland. The rain turns to stinging hail turns to rain turns to hail again. And now we have snow, too – covering the rooftops and the sidewalks. It falls gently in the mornings and afterwards, the sky seems to glitter. 

Outside my living room window:

 

After the snow falls, it hardens and turns to ice. The sidewalks become hockey rinks and Dubliners skate along. Sometimes they fall. 

“Ah, be careful now!” says a man outside my building this morning as I head to the butcher shop. The man is wearing a reflective yellow safety vest and is standing next to a moving van. “It’s slippery out here, a-right. Mind yourself, mind you don’t fall now.”

“Take care yourself!” I say. 

“Ah, not me,” he says. “I don’t be walking around in this snow. I just be telling my employees which flat to move the furniture into.”

One step. Two steps. So far, no broken neck. It’s miserably cold and the sheets of snow sparkle. So much for seeing my one-eyed friend, Patch, on a day like today. 

 

But wait! Could it be …?

 

It is! It’s Patch! Purr, purr, purr. Meow, meow, meow. I’m happy to see you, too, little buddy, but who let you out in the cold, cold snow? There, there, handsome – I wish you could come home with me, too. 

Walking into City Centre, I notice that the Grand Canal – usually teeming with regal swans – is empty and frozen over. Of course; birds can’t swim in ice. But where did they go? Oops. Easy there. Almost fell that time. 

I buy a frying chicken from the butcher and slide home. Once in the kitchen, I marinate the chicken in vinegar, preparing it to enter a roasting pan with rooster potatoes, red and yellow peppers, and chunks of Irish sausage. While the bird bathes, I get a jump on school work for next term. And by “get a jump on” I mean “cocoon myself in my bedroom and gaze out the window at the falling snow.”

Barry’s tea straight up, Lotus-Olbas Vapour Release tissues, and the rough draft of a new short story. Heading outdoors might be a suicide mission, but inside, things could be worse. 

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