The phone rings again. Teenage daughter at her weekend job. She forgot her cellphone. Could I drop it off when I walk the canine? Sure. Then I wait. Will the husband come home, saying he forgot his wallet? I listen for the sound of wheels in the snowy driveway. But the peace of silence stays on.
And then I walk around the house and think. Things aren't so bad, are they? I have a house, warm with twenty-some years of memories. I've finally got myself that new couch I promised to get when my first book came out. I have books - okay, just one of mine - but shelves and shelves and shelves of wonderful books that I've spent countless hours reading. I have a sweet little laptop which lets me access the whole internet for way more time than I should.
But this time alone is too precious to share with my laptop. I stare at the little candle - my fireplace substitute - and I think. Things aren't so bad. Things really aren't so bad.
And then I marinate the chicken, fold some laundry, sweep the floor, and pile on the gear to face a prairie January walk with the dog to drop off the cellphone.