Esther lay in bed snuggled under the warmth and comfort of a corduroy quilt, its pounds of weight holding her a willing captive. Muffled by the overnight snow, the world was silent, creating the illusion that the house was wrapped within a cocoon. She burrowed into the feather pillows and pictured the snowflakes floating down blanketing the house, a serene glow of pristine white, drifting and gliding, carpeting the roadways, encasing bushes, shrouding bare tree branches with its lovely lace of chastity. She drifted back to sleep.
A shovel scrapping cement, the unmistaken reminder that life goes on even in winter. Esther slowly awoke, stretched, and glanced at the clock setting by her ...view middle of the document...
"Are you still in bed?" She flicked the pencil balanced between her pointer and middle fingers back and forth tapping it loudly on her desktop with each down flop. "Good Lord Es, it's after 10! I've snowshoe-ed my way to the hospital and sledded back again. Granted, I almost called Paul to break out the snow mobile. What's it look like there? It's terrible out this way."
Esther lifted her head and arched her back to look at the window from her prostrate position, through squinted eyelids she saw a slight ribbon of light peeking out along the lower edge of the drawn window shade. She strained, listening for street noise but heard only a low moan, the whisper of winter. Rolling over she eased out of bed and crossed to the window. Pulling the shade out from the bottom she released the cold air trapped between pane and covering. Staring through the frosted glass she watching the flakes drifting down from a gray murky sky.
"It's pretty deep here." The yard that she could see was masked in white, tuffs of snow were swollen against the neighboring house, drifts were forming over the evergreen shrubs, and the willow hung low enough to touch the blanketed ground. Looking toward the street she said, "The snow plow hadn't made it this far."
"But you have power."
Realizing that the house was completely silent Esther hesitated, reached for the lamp pull, and gave it a tug. The bulb lit. "Sure, you?"
"Yup. But there are a lot of houses without." Esther could hear the pencil hitting the desktop. "Listen, I tried to get Mom. But, of course, her phone is off.” There was a slurp and a ceramic clunk before Corey continued, “I tried her landline but there’s no answer. I'm thinking maybe her power is out."
Esther slipped her feet into floppy blue slippers. "It's her day for cards." she replied while reaching for her red fleece robe hanging on the brass hook by the doorway. The right arm went in easily but she circled west as she tried to find the left arm hole while still keeping the cell phone to her ear.
"She wouldn't try to drive in this, would she?"
"There's not much that slows her down.” Silence, then Esther added, “Marilyn probably swung by and picked her up. That big boat gets better traction then most 4-wheel drives. You know how they are."
"I'm afraid I do." Through the connection Esther heard an office phone buzz. Corey quickly added, "I’m just trying to touch base. I know you'll take care of her and I wanted her to know we were okay." Esther could hear the persistent buzz and the frustration in Corey's voice. "I've got to go we're short-handed here. Tell her to call me?" But before Esther could reply the phone went dead.
Esther clicked the television on. It came on too loud half way through an episode of Law and Order SVU. She quickly changed to CNN. “The storm continues to press the Midwest producing heavy snow and ice across most of Kansas and Missouri.” She changed again, “..area received blizzard conditions while Chicago...