It’s all about exposure. One of my first jobs in life was as a food tray clearer in the NMH cafeteria (all students were required to pitch in — even I). At first, I wasn’t thrilled about getting meatloaf underneath my nails, but then after a few days the feeling became routine, and the sensation of food slush on my bare hands became not only tolerable but somehow honorable. I was working, I was suffering, I was part of society.

So for those who can’t fathom a winter on Chappy, especially this winter, I say “you get used to it.” If this were a day in late September, temps hovering around freezing, I’d be bundled in layers of sweaters. But, having experienced three months of pulverizing cold, I am out today in just a light merino sweater, face turned toward the sun. And this isn’t my first winter here, there have been many others to inoculate me to the experience. I believe that the same can be said for life on Chappy year round, and in general.

If you’ve never lived here, some of Chappy’s inconveniences may appear to you as insurmountable obstacles. But Chappy wears one’s resistance down, like the rocking of a grandmother to a fussy baby. You adapt. You make concessions. You embrace. Of course, all of a the above is said while the wind is down and the sun is shining — ask me again when it’s howling freezing rain in a few days.

The snow is melting. This is a gradual process, almost imperceptible — none of the rushing streams of snow gone watery during a warm spring day. The snow is completely gone in spots of southern exposure, or where the wind never really let it rest. But there are still areas of foot-deep creme brûlée snow — crusty on top, soft underneath. I’ve yet to see a robin, but I’ve heard birds other than crows and gulls . . . they’re out there, somewhere in the wings.

I sometimes ponder the weather and its ability to hold sway over most conversations. One rarely enters a public place without some mention, overheard or otherwise, of the weather. It is a universal topic because it universally affects us. No one, rich or poor, is above the weather. The weather is the great humbler. And beyond its ubiquitousness, I think that this power that it holds over us is the main reason we discuss it so much. We are the weather’s serfs — powerless to its demands. So we band together, finding strength in numbers and shared ineffectiveness. It’s a hot one. Cold enough for you?

Cousin Annie has been looking for me (more specifically for Baby E). But like the elusive unicorn, we remain in the corners of her imagination. Unlike the unicorn though, we will emerge soon in all our glory . . . just need to put the finishing touches of gold tacks on the red velvet of E’s throne. See you soon.

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