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[The Scene:] Yesterday, Calvin had a play date that kept him out until almost 5:30, which around here is actually nighttime this time of the year. As he was coming home we were in the middle of the third snow flurry of the year.

He comes in the door yelling, "Papa, come outside with me and see! It's SO BEAUTIFUL!"

So how do you resist that? I throw on a coat, hat, gloves, and walk out the back porch door. I don't see him at first, then from my right he says "Come stand right here, this is the good spot."

He's backed up to the garage doors, looking up at an angle. The moon is about 80% full and is only slightly occluded behind thin clouds. With the lake so close we get a steady but unpredictable wind that flows (sometimes, it howls) around the house and creates all manner of swirling eddies. Tonight it is spilling around both sides of the garage and as the snow falls through the pale moonlight, it spirals to earth in tight rings, the ones to our left turning one way, to our right turning the other. Tiny snowflakes fall straight down but the bigger ones are all spinning around and colliding. Calvin is almost reverent. "See? It's beautiful."

I stick my tongue out. Calvin mimics me and starts laughing, running around chasing the bigger snowflakes and cracking himself up. I hear a small whine and look down, and Ellie is wagging furiously with her ears pulled back in that "OH PLEASE OH PLEASE OH PLEASE" way. It occurs to me that we haven't really been outside with her in a few days and she must have a severe case of doggie cabin fever. So I reach into the porch and grab her frisbee. As soon as she sees me holding it, she turns into crazy dog, running madly in circles, digging her nose into the snow to throw it into the air. She comes back and sits without my asking, a huge grin on her face. We don't play fetch. We play, Throw->Chase the dog->clever subterfuge to make her drop the preferred toy and chase a stick or something->repeat. This is slightly more exciting than usual in the icy dark but somehow we all keep our feet and run madly about for 15 minutes or so. Right about the time I am getting winded, the snow pauses for a second and A. calls for dinner. Just so.

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October 2011

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