We got some good old-fashioned christmastime snow, and the whole world looks like a birthday cake, and Andy Williams songs play on an endless loop in my head (and everywhere else, too, now that I come to think of it.) It is quiet here, muffled in snow. The house feels like it is sleeping. We [try to] play cribbage, which we don’t really know how to play, and watch birds outside the window. I bake things. The last load of laundry tumbles in the dryer. He chooses a book he thinks I might like, and reads it to me while I wash dishes in the sink, or soak in the bathtub, or knit a sock. I am forced to admit there is some melancholy in this season now, with the little children all grown up and gone away to their own lives, taking their happy noise and their midnight pans of nachos and their friends with them, and I try to fill the gaping holes left behind with knitting and books and chicken noodle soup, and I cry now and then, sitting in the car wash with holiday songs playing on the radio, or in the evenings with a grown-up eggnog or steaming hot toddy. I look for new ways to make the season bright. I hang a silk scarf in the window, which casts color beams like stained glass. I make things for people, late late into the night, and I light candles, and walk in the snow.