Local businesses began putting up their “Closed Tuesday” signs before opening up on Monday.
Schools closed in advance. City officials asked citizens to stay home Tuesday. And setting a good example, city buses are not running up and down Walker Avenue as they usually do.
It’s an eerie quiet, except for that persistent north wind that wipes across rooftops and whips through trees carrying snow in its wake. The snow rises and curls like smoke, making it easy to imagine roofs and trees as cigarette smokers taking a break. Puff, puff, puffing away.
My husband, of course, is working in his office, a small space inside our garage, that eighty years ago was the living space for a maid. Before we refurbished it, there was no insulation in the walls. The 10 by 12 foot space was heated only by a small bathroom heater. I can’t imagine it would have kept this hard-working woman warm on nights like last night, where temperatures dived below twenty. Even with insulation, his new electric radiator will likely not reach set point on a blustery day like today.
I imagine my husband is one of few in the city working away like it’s a normal day at the office. That’s just the way he is — one of the many reasons I love him. He just rides the waves of life without flailing about. While I worry over things like a loss of heat and power, he just smiles and tells me he’s not. And this makes me stop too.
For a while the snow stopped. But fine fairy flakes are falling again. Sometimes they float around in circles riding invisible whirlpools in the sky. Other times they come hard as rain, pushed to the ground by gales of frigid air.
It’s nine degrees outside. Here in the house, I’m grateful for a lovely seventy-two. Out in my husband’s office, it’s sixty-five. Maybe he’ll come in soon and work at home like other telecommuters across Oklahoma.
As for me, I don’t mind a break in everyday routines. With flakes growing bigger, I think I’m gonna set up shop in front of the warm side of the window. And as I do with every pretty snowfall, I’ll think about Mother — how she liked to build a big roaring fire in her fireplace and do nothing more than watch snow flakes fall from heaven.
The cobalt blue bottles lining my windows — Mother’s gift to me a very long time ago — are beckoning me to do just that.