The temperatures were plunging fast toward zero at bedtime last night when I donned my husband's heavy old "buffalo coat" to accompany my big dog Jack on his last walk out for the night. The cold air shocked my lungs, and I told my dog, "I'll walk as far as the steps, my friend; from there you're on your own."
As I reached the step, I saw the full moon rising; it had found a generous opening in the clouds, despite the fact that it was snowing vigorously around me. The spectacular moonlight on the fresh snow made flashlights and porch lights unnecessary, and I kept walking... down the steps and onto the walk, where I suddenly found myself in a land of glitter; diamonds were everywhere.
The snow crunched beneath our feet like broken glass. The sequin-snow had traced itself along the trunks and branches of the trees, and the prisms gleaming back at me were dazzling. Even the snow-covered road, unblemished by plows, was covered with sparkle.
My world that night was hushed; quieter than quiet; our footsteps were the only sound... I walked with Jack through the trees to the end of the drive and stood very still, soaking up the unexpected glory.
Jack cut things short; it seems he simply had to. Beneath his heavy knit coat (lovingly made by a friend), he was shivering and impatient---a captive audience, and clearly not nearly as pleased by the night as his mistress was.
We hurried back to the comforts of the house, where he threw himself into his warmly padded cage and covered his head with his paws, as if anticipating another cruel invitation to the cold outdoors, which he didn't intend to accept.
I looked outside and the moon was gone, smothered again into darkness by a sky full of clouds.
Beauty can be fleeting. It can also be uncomfortable. Ask my dog.
R.A.T. (Rose About Town)
FROM SUSAN LUHTA PRICE OF ALABAMA: Your description paints a perfect picture. I am a southern girl born and bred, but I guess I have just enough of my Daddy's Yankee blood in me that the cold weather fascinates me. I only want it in small doses, however. I love to walk outside in the snow when there is a complete enough blanket to eliminate the need for man-made light. It is magical and so completely quiet you can hear your own heart beat.
ROSE SPEAKS TO SUSAN OF BEAUTIFUL ALABAMA: Susan, you haven't lived until you've made snow ice cream and snow angels and taken part in a snowball fight. Then there are the winter sports of ice skating and tobogganing. I can do neither these days, but tobogganing will always remain special in my mind because I met my husband at a toboggan party 50 years ago.