I hit my snooze from six until six-twenty-one when it will go off again in six minutes. The next time I see the digital it is six-forty-one. I flip the covers off, find the washroom in the dark, and as I'm returning, walking past my bed, I just climb right back in. It's seven-o-one when I get out of bed, the time I should be leaving.
I'm dressed, pulling on ski pants, lacing boots, zipping fleece, snapping parka, when I find Michael's black balaclava in the mitts and toque bin. I don't think I've ever worn one of these, I think. I pull it on, over my glasses. I'm really warm when I hit the morning air. There is no new snow. I thought it was supposed to snow today. Environment Canada had said it would be minus twenty-five, with the windchill, if I was reading their website right, but there is no wind. There is cold, though, it's the make-things-crinkly kind of cold, when plastic has a certain crinkle, and the ski pants have an extra swish in their walk.
I'm halfway down the lane when I realize my glasses are going to just fog up and I won't be able to see anything through the little eyes and nose hole in the face-mask-toque. I push my glasses up, onto my head, under the balaclava and my hood. There, I can see. The hoar frost is beautiful, even in the dark, almost yellow in the street-lights.
The sky begins to lighten, and when I'm at the ski hill, the pinky-orange is touching the sky, like someone testing to see if the water is cold, just little dips here and there, getting a little more bold with each passing dip. Soon there are ripples of fuchsia and tangerine and I snap pictures of the treaty four grounds and the hoar frost on grasses, weeds, leaves, trees, posts, and every time I turn my back on the sky, I feel like I am missing something, and I turn, and sure enough, I was missing a new wave of light and colour.
It's a stop and start morning. I text Jade. I will be late, late today.
The highlight of my morning is sending an email with the subject line: Coffee's On. Yesterday, Alma and I dreamt up a new system for providing a community coffee pot in the staff room which we haven't had for quite a few years. We decided we would invite people to bring supplies and put them in the cupboard and operate like roommates, I'd said. Like family, Alma added.
At noon I'm running around town in the Envoy, getting groceries to host an Eco Workshop party with my friend, Doug's, cousin, Corinne. I pick up apple juice for apple cider; a pecan pie to supplement my soggy apple crisp; cheese and triskets; veggies, sour cream, and onion soup mix; a bar of chocolate; and coffee filters. The wind has picked up by the time I'm back for fourth period.
By the end of the day, the snow is blowing fairly hard and visibility is not great. Corinne has phoned and we decide we'll postpone the Eco Workshop. Michael is heading into the city after some deliberation because he needs art supplies to take a watercolour workshop this Saturday and Sunday. Just as I'm about to head out the backdoor into the snow, I reach into my pockets for my mitts and they aren't there. One of the Regina car-pools are waiting in the entry-way, and Dani pulls her little dollar gloves out of her pockets. "Here, take these." I smile and accept. We exchange "safe travel" wishes and I'm out the parking lot, across the field, and at the highway.
The snow is thick, but my footing is slip-free and I'm warm, almost hot. I call Arwen, but she doesn't want to visit. I call Angela, Char, and Janet to let them know the workshop is cancelled, and if they want, they could come help me eat all the food tonight. Somewhere in there, I learn to put my cell phone right into the balaclava, and I'm driving and talking on my cell phone, hands free. I call Rob and leave a message.
Nearing the governance centre, I call Mom and she talks me in, hands free, all the way to the end of our coulee. We say goodbye, and I take off my toque, forgetting my phone which slips into the snow. I dust it off and put it in my pocket. The lane is thick with snow, one set of tires going up. I'm glad I'm walking, not spinning my wheels home.