Today, the wind is howling. Blue skies, sunshine, snow flying off the trees. Inside, a fire is burning.
Last night, Chevy ran away. The snow was coming down beautifully as I stood in the doorway calling his name. I could hear a bark now and then but I couldn’t stand the cold anymore and closed the door. When I warmed up, I tried again.
It isn’t like him to run away at night. Suddenly, I had visions of finding him in the morning, mauled by coyotes, a death grimace on his face.
I stood in the doorway again with snow falling on my hair, in my ears, on my eyelashes and I called and called and called. Closed the door. Went back and tried again.
I live in the middle of nowhere. Local friends think this is a tedious statement, as if I am embellishing the isolation. Friends who live near towns with neighbors close at hand. The closest town to me is 17 miles away. The closest neighbor is half a mile away.
I am not complaining. I am in love with the middle of nowhere. For years I have been anywhere but the middle. A constant see sawing from left to right then back again. Black and white, no gray. Finally, gray. The exact middle.
I put my layers on, found a flashlight, put Plato on a leash and prepared to go into the dark to find Chevy. My plan was to follow his tracks, they’d lead me to the field behind the house. Possibly into the crumbling barn that used to house a thousand dairy cows. I needed to hurry, before the snow wiped all traces of them away.
Chevy isn’t just any dog, he has, in the past 2 years, become the love of my life. I can’t get enough of his brown eyes, his shiny fur, his confirmation, intelligence, humor, wit. My plan was to go as deep into the dark as I must to find that dog, no matter what the risk.
When I opened the door there he was, smiling, covered with burs, delighted to have been allowed a little extra time in the snow.