A Mantel of White

They've been promising it all day, those weather forecasters relishing the role of doomsayer, announcing it with childlike glee and an unnatural twinkle in their eye, this impending snowstorm that could layer as much as eight inches of snow on our nice dry ground. "Punishing winds," they warn, "hazardous roads" and "blizzard conditions" will prevail, so be ready. I've been out and about all day- running errands this morning, attending a matinee performance at a local theater this afternoon, stopping for a quick dinner before Jim went off to a rehearsal - and though there were no visible snowflakes, I could feel them hanging over my head, the cloud covered sky thick with cold moisture that seeped over the earth, penetrating even my warmest winter coat.

In the time it took for us to scarf down an Arby's (fast food-a sure sign of an overly busy schedule) the clouds let loose and snow started falling, leaving a light coating on the pavement. Luckily, it wasn't yet heavy enough to require brushing off the car. But since I've been home, cranked up the heat, hurried the dogs outside to take care of business before things get too dicey, and changed into my warm fuzzies, it's started to increase in intensity. The grass has disappeared, and so has the pavement, the flakes fat and wet as they fall in the reflection from the floodlight on the garage.

I like snow, when I'm warm and toasty inside. My stereo is playing Josh Groban's new Christmas CD, because the weather outside seems to call for such seasonal songs. I'm about to open a bottle of red wine, because I need something with a little more heft than the icy Chardonnay I generally favor. I have a Netflix I've been hoarding for just such a night, when the big screen TV is mine alone. Dare I say it -I feel content - a welcome change from the general malaise of the past few weeks.

The week ahead will be fast and furious. I'm trying to squeeze in a two week's worth of work, in preparation for leaving town on Saturday. I have to get in all my Christmas visits, get the dogs haircuts and baths, make sure my mom is stocked up on groceries and all her medications before I go, wrap some presents, send out the Christmas cards...

Oh, stop, I'm ruining my own mood already.

For the moment, let me just have a little peace and quiet, while the snow falls gently and silently onto the ground.