We had been told to expect the return of cold air. Those predictions are, unfortunately, almost always accurate.
I hear my daughters are enjoying cherry blossoms in DC. Me, I wake up to a cold, gray day.
Oh, to love gray! Ed tells me daily how great my hair looks. It’s a shortcut for him saying: long is good. Gray wisps are good. Don’t waste money going to Jason. I’m not convinced. I haven’t let Jason near my hair all this year and this retreat to what I feel is somewhere between hippie and unkempt makes me cringe. And yet I listen and half hope that Ed is sincere. Over and over: your hair looks gorgeous, your hair looks great. It’s like telling an alcoholic that mineral water tastes a hell of a lot better than the real stuff with the hope that eventually they’ll believe.
Gray skies, brown fields. Nothing green yet. Except for this. Fertilizer. Maybe cow manure – Ed tells me.
You want to play a game? He asks now, but he knows I do. Even though it is 29 degrees out there. Shirt, sweatshirt, wool coat, gloves. Not exactly tennis duds. But, I keep them all on. Yesterday I was blinded by the sun. Today, the air is fuzzy with the steam from our breath.
The tennis court is, as usual, empty. (even Madisonians would have trouble guessing where this is – I’m not sure anyone knows of its existence. Or cares. It’s well hidden behind tall pines. Needles lie in clumps on the green asphalt. Ed wants to sweep them off, but I find them charming.)
We volley the balls, Ed gets boastful, I chase missed balls. I’m warming up. Cheerfully even. We get a good hour and a half in before the gusts of wind remind me that we are to get snow tonight.
But, shortly after we finish playing, I’m cold again. You can only shake that kind of disgusted-with-this-winter-weather feeling by warming your insides. Like at your favorite bakery, where a family of bakers is putting out loaves of hot bread.