Jun. 17th, 2008

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The century's longest winter kept us indoors day by day. Margot stalked the house wrapped in her thick, lilac cardigan, her arms folded tightly across her chest, her slowly silvering hair pulled back into a severe and sloppy ponytail. Her path was identical, predictable each day: bedroom to bathroom, bathroom to kitchen, kitchen to living room to den to bedroom, round and round. She spoke to no one, usually until dinner. Heaven help the one of us who got in her way, interrupted her endless pilgrimage to who knows where. Before she'd begin her daily circuit, Bart and I would make sure we'd stake out our own perches, his by the fireplace with whatever he was reading, me in the wing-backed chair by the window and the radiator. With the snow so deep outside, the only thing visible, the only break in the monotonous view were the periodic stiricides that pierced the snowpack just outside the window -- like the one that had taken Casper from us. He'd been trying to clear the vents one warmer-than-usual day. I hated to think of him out in the snow, layered in like a Pompeiian caught in pyroclastic flows. But there would be no retrieving him until the thaw.

Maybe we should have let Margot go get him when it first happened. But then she'd be gone, too.

stiricide (1656 -1656)
1. n. falling of icicles from a house


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