Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Keeping Me Warm for Eighteen Years

Dear John,
 
It's been a cold, windy, snowy day. The wind has howled for the last 36 hours. What snow fell here is probably coming down in Cuyahoga County. The noise has the animals jumpy. Driving is a challenge - not because of slick roads, but the strength of the wind. The wind chill has been pretty brutal today. And we're having wind fade trouble with the dish.
 
And so, tonight I want to thank you for keeping me warm. When we knew we were coming here, you got me that dark red parka for Christmas. It was 18 years ago - Northern Reflections was still at the mall, and you got it there. You knew how different winter would be out here in open rural country, with no buildings to block the wind. So you got me the warmest thing you could find. It's windproof and waterproof, the hood ties tight around my face, the waist and bottom tie, and the cuffs clip tight around my wrists. I've always worn it to shovel snow. And this year I'm wearing it almost all the time. I wear it to work because I'm on county roads and want my warmest coat in case of car trouble. My black wool coat is pretty, but the wind cuts right through it and there is no opening that I can close to the wind.
 
It meant a lot to me that Christmas, that you were so concerned about keeping me warm out here in the wilderness. It meant just as much to me today, when I was carrying two bags of groceries all the way to the end of the aisle at Walmart, at dusk, and in 36-mph winds. The coat has held up wonderfully all these years. I feel sentimental about wearing it now - it feels like you are still looking after me and being sure that I stay warm enough.
 
So, thank you for looking out for me. Be assured that I'm keeping warm. The house is set at 64, and the window quilts are up. Having a dog and a cat vieing for the prime real estate of your lap can help keep you warm, too. It's supposed to be 40 by the weekend, so we're all hoping for  warm-up.
 
Thank you for looking after me. Thank you for worrying about whether I'd be warm enough through a winter here. Thank you for buying for me what I probably would not have bought for myself. And thank you for still looking out for me. I am safe and warm and dry
 
With love from under your wing,
Joan.

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