Letters to Holly

Wednesday, December 23

Productive Anger

I left work around 3 in order to beat the freeze. I got to Your Sister's school to pick her up and noticed the tremendous reduction in death ice. It was now mush and pavement.

Her phone is a curious device; it will always connect to my phone immediately, but it won't accept the signal from my phone when she's at school. I call her whenever I'm back in town, and I did so again yesterday.

Of course the phone doesn't pick up, and I leave a message. The problem here is that I don't have a school key, and, if I'm picking her up, I have to stand outside the school, banging on the thick glass in hopes someone will hear me. This routine has gone on since before we married. This is the important part: This has happened for years. It's the norm.

I get to the school, park as I did yesterday morning, and slop around to the front of the building. By this time, I've had a frustrating day. Let's wrap it all up in senioritis. I'm counting the minutes until I have a vacation. And after I drive home in the slush and gunk, I have to summon Your Sister by playing building bongos. She hears me, comes to the door, and asks wide eyed and sincere, "why didn't you call?"

I lose it. "I DID." It's officially a spat. As we walk to the car (sitting on the other end of the still ruinous parking lot), her phone receives the message I left ten minutes earlier. This happens every time. Why is this such a surprise for both of us? I fume all the way home. She pulls up the garbage bags arranged to melt a walkway, and I grab the shovels. I shoo her inside eventually and chisel away the ice between the road and the garage door. Burning with anger, I keep at it until I have a walk cleared. It takes 90 minutes, and I finish just as my light disappears. The anger's gone. I've spent it.

I get inside and find Your Sis has made me my first hot toddy. It's good. It's welcome. And we're fine. She gets to bed early, and I go back to the workshop to finish her Christmas gift. It'll be in flux until the last second.

I think I can clear the road next to our yard enough to allow all of you to parallel park next to the snowbank. There's no way I can clear the driveway for parking. The snowplows have packed the glaciers in front of it.

I'm almost finished with Christmas shopping. One more thing to get ...

Picture of the Day
I'll start the garden early this year.

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