So I left work at noon-thirty today, because I’d finished everything except stuff I could work from home. It’s supposed to snow all night tonight, and part of the day tomorrow, and I doubt I’ll be heading in to work before noon tomorrow.

Before I left, I put all the food I had at my desk and set it out with a note: Emergency Stash! A number of people were planning to stay overnight if the snow got bad enough to close the base. A case of breakfast bars, two cans of soup, and some hot sauce. I told a couple of people, but everyone seems to have brought piles of food. For some reason, one guy brought in a case of eggs.

The weather wasn’t bad when I left, but by the time I got home, I was glad I’d left when I did. The entire drive home, I was thinking, “More snow! More snow!” and remembering Blizzards I Have Known.

At day care, Ray wanted to walk out the door with her hood off and her jacket unzipped. Maybe I should have let her. If she were nine or ten I would have let her, but not today. I bit back telling her to be careful, and she slipped down the grassy hill. I had to laugh. “It’s a blizzard!” she said. “The worst blizzard ever!” I told her of course it wasn’t and then regretted it. It was a thrill running through the wind with the snow crawling inside my clothes. Ray said, “It’s a blizzard!” all the way home.

At home, the first thing I did was go out to Bunnita’s cage. She was sitting on top of her hut, out of the wet on the concrete. I opened the lid to the cage, and she ran to her litter box. When she intends not to get caught, she settles into an open corner, so she has multiple escape options. The litter box is easy to reach into, and she can be boxed in. I picked her up as she was making a half-hearted run for it; she burrowed into my jacket as I brought her into the house.

I took off my coat and started untying my shoes, then noticed the shed door was halfway open. I’d dragged out the hose a few days ago and let Ray run around with it, watering plants, bushes, and apple trees. I have one apple tree that’s taken off; it’s gone from under chest high to beyond reach over the last two years; the other tree hasn’t done anything. The yard has turned into a slab of gravel again, despite all the gravel I pulled out last year. The snow felt colder, but then I wasn’t buttoned up as well as I had been earlier.

I called Lee from the house and told him the roads were starting to freeze, then called the girls at work: nobody answered, for which I was grateful. I left a message with the most recalcitrant of the bunch. Go home. The roads are bad. Because I didn’t really believe she’d left, only ignored the phone because she was tired of people nagging her to get out while she could.

The bathtub was still draining and foul-smelling from last night. I can’t find any drain cleaner. It’s probably something too difficult and expensive for home repair, anyway. At least the shower’s fine. I questioned Ray, both dreading and hoping for a positive response: “I need you to tell me the truth. Even if it’s weird. You didn’t put anything down the drain last night, did you?” But no.

I screwed around online for awhile. My fingers got cold, then colder, so I got up. You know how you’re cold and you get up and check the temperature on the thermostat, and it’s what it ought to be? I got up to check the thermostat and the wind had blown the door open. I locked the door.

Ray and I played a half-dozen games of “animal rummy.” She’s at the right age for it, finally. I kicked her butt up and down, all through the town. She came close a couple of times. I cut her off when she started to get red in the face. I still haven’t picked up a chess set for us yet. She said, “I haven’t been able to play a lot of card games,” so I must not have made her too mad.

The cat was wandering around with a wad of hair in his mouth. His winter coat is shedding. I brushed him while visibility faded in and out. He’s getting old: his coat wasn’t full of the knots and small pieces of grass he used to have, and he purred instead of trying to bite me out of revenge for all the static the brush kicked up. I end up with a good fistful of gray fur. At least that won’t end up underfoot, wet and hideous, at 5:30 a.m.

Ray and I playinged “Wizards 101,” a free online MMORPG for kids. I love one of the games on there; I ended up playing it to the point where Ray abandoned me for other things. I both enjoyed playing it and wished I hadn’t started. Once again, I remind myself that I should never gamble, shouldn’t play poker for money. It isn’t the MMOs that get me – It’s the stupid side games.

It took Lee an hour to drive half a mile, then another half-hour to drive the rest of the way home. He said he felt sorry for some people heading the other direction, who were spinning their tires on a 25-degree hill.

I long for a hot bath in a room that doesn’t smell foul. I’ll probably take a shower anyway.

It’s turned into the kind of do-nothing evening that gets under my skin and leaves me depressed, so I turned off the computer game and started writing this blog entry, because I want a tangible result for the day. I wrap up in a blanket, and the evening becomes less oppressive: the heater’s fighting to keep up with the wind, and I realize I’ve been cold for hours. I’m bad at cold. It was heaven when I started college: the dorm rooms were baking hot all winter long.

I wrapped a blanket around Ray. She ditched it, then pulled her arms inside her shirt. I wrapped her up again, and she put her head in my lap. I leaned down to kiss her ear and got a mouthful of static electricity. It’s not snowing.

More snow! More snow!