the free feeling of traipsing down the middle of a deserted road. the sound of snow and ice crunching underfoot. standing in the the center of that field alone. the shine off its glossy surface. thinking of the pennellville meadow sheathed in ice, its grassy tufts like waves in a frozen ocean. the hollow knock of a woodpecker disturbing the quiet. the sting of frigid air in my nose. friends calling and knowing they can cry on my shoulder. long good talks with sisters and brothers. post-booster, post-fever, post-seizure child spending most of the day napping in my lap, keeping me warm. seeing in-laws in their silly glasses on zoom. making a killer coffee oreo cookie irish cream chocolate fudge brownie ice cream cake for after christmas dinner. getting lost in the rolling flames of a fire in the wood stove. the sweet richness of bourbon eggnog topped with sugar-laced whipped egg whites and nutmeg sprinkles. friends and neighbors dropping by with goodies galore. smiles, gifts, visits and messages from once-strangers. so many beloveds. dream of our dear Arnd alive and well and among us. hearing from his parents the next morning. woody's kin dropping off a holiday care package in his absence. writing at the butcher block table as my husband busies himself in the kitchen. rosemary rack of lamb about to go in the oven. the roundness of a french horn with the charm of a harp. looking forward to watching the 1951 version of dickens' a christmas carol. all dressed up, no place to go.