February, god how I hate February; winter would be so much nicer without February. Every since we crossed over into 4 weeks of long cold winter we have been going through a cycle of: snow, sleet, ice, repeat.
This has encased every road, every sidewalk in a casket of ice making both driving and walking frightening. Look, I do my best to remove the white stuff from my public surfaces, but even I couldn’t keep up with this pace. However, it seems someone has.
After my second near fall while walking the dogs tonight, I started to take notice of my neighbor’s sidewalks. Their good people, but it was dangerous out there. And so I rounded the corner to my house, and there was the concrete-- barren and gray. It was a stunning contrast, and not one I’m willing to take credit for.
Reaching safety inside the garage, Tasha, the younger one hadn’t taken care of … well, the complete transaction. So out to the backyard we went.
And there was a sight every northern dweller hopes to see, a herd of trolls chipping away the last layer of ice from my patio.
“Oton, is that you?” I said, snatching up the excitable Tasha. “What … are you doing here?”
He swung his tiny spade up on his shoulder and trotted over. “Cleaning up a bit, we couldn’t help notice that you left some ice on your walks.”
“Yeah, but it’s okay, really. Everyone is having trouble right now. I mean I appreciate your help, but you’re making me feel guilty.”
He shuffled his little feet and said, “it’s the least we can do—you’re the one.”
“Oton, what does that mean?”
“Uh, I’ve said too much—things are changing in the valley, trolls—,”
“Oton! What did I tell you? It’s not the time, the signs are still assembling.” It was Leaf, always in charge. “We just wanted to pay you back for the wonderful football battles.”
“It was nothing, really I enjoyed it,” I said.
She kicked a skittering chunk of ice away and said, “but you haven’t invited us back. Did we do something wrong?”
Now I really felt horrible. I had failed to explain the season had ended. To them football was a weekly event. “No, the season of battles is over. The warriors have gone home to their families, but being men they'll return to the field later this year.”
“Are you sure?” Oton asked his eyes wide.
“See, I knew she wasn’t mad, she’s the one,” Leaf said, pop!