The deck has been making popping sounds all night. With temperatures dropping fast, the water that was absorbed by the deck boards was expanding. The deeper the ground freezes. The colder the air feels. And the more the deck pops. I keep picturing nails shooting out.
I nearly forgot to check the mail today. I put on a heavy flannel shirt with my stylish orange coat, my black waterproof old boots. Wrapped a scarf around my neck, and stuck a grey knit hat on my head and pulled on my over sized brown gloves…
I have to stop here, because my younger male cat, walked off with one of the gloves and I had to sweet-talk him to get it back. I was a bit overheated by the time I grabbed my ski pole walking stick, and called to Uriah to follow me down the driveway.
Just outside the garage doors, Uriah stopped, lifted his face to the winds, and promptly turned around and asked to go back into the garage. I bribed him with a few, six to be exact, Liver Snaps.
Closer to the house, on the left side of the driveway as you face west, is a very tall Blue Spruce. It blocks the wind and cold beautifully As soon as I passed that tree I readjusted my scarf and gave Uriah another biscuit.
The sun was shining brightly and the air was freezing.
Uriah decided if he had to follow me he would stay behind me the entire time. This way I was blocking the wind.
“Uriah, you can’t be cold.” I scolded him; he grinned and listened for the word treat, or biscuit.
I showed him my gloved hands were void of treats. “You don’t need any more. You have too much body fat!”
Uriah must have taken offense at that, because he sneezed and wandered over to the fence line and urinated. He waddled back, but never looked at me.
I made him stop and sit before we got all the way to the road.
The thirty feet before the driveway ended, the blacktop ended. The next twenty feet was dirt and gravel. Tire ruts were filled in with smooth solid ice and banked with craggy ice patches.
The last ten feet slopped upwards. I trudged up that slight incline at the end of the driveway. Then stopped and tried to plan out my path. Those few feet to the mailbox were littered with large chunks of shining, grayish white, ice. Slick and jagged! If I wasn’t careful I would fall.
I waited for three cars to past, before I moved up and left, towards the mailbox.
The mailbox door was open. That’s not unusual, trucks speed along this road. Add in winds and I’m surprised they don’t rip out the entire box, post and all. So far this winter, knock on wood, my mail hasn’t gotten blown out onto the road.
I checked inside the box, nothing! I slowly moved back towards my waiting dog.
“Hey! Uriah, do you know how to figure out a formula for Relative Velocity?” I grabbed his muzzle with both gloved hands and rubbed his face as I continued talking. “Take a truck, a mailbox, and add in wind speed …”
Uriah looked at me, lowered his head to the ground and started to jump around alike a puppy.
“Okay, I get it! You want to go back home!” I headed towards the house as Uriah happily trotted directly in front of me.
On the way back, I noticed a large softball size piece of ice sitting on the side of the driveway. Stupidly, not realizing it was frozen to the ground. I kicked it trying to get it off the blacktop. I made a mental note never to do that again. My boots helped to protect my toes. Uriah looked like he was laughing at me…