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Snowflakes, fat and downy, fall softly on our coats. In the stillness of a holiday morning, I can hear them land gently on our coats – lacy shrouds on my scarlet jacket and Sophie’s jet-black fur. Our footfalls are muffled as we lay tracks across the pathway, and every once in a while we turn around to see snow fill up the traces of our early morning walk. Our neighbor’s homes are dark; a lone and empty looking bus bound for the city swooshes gently by.
The morning’s snow has turned to slush, which sloshes up the sides of my sneakers and soaks my feet within minutes. Our neighbor’s lights are on, and their windows dance with warmth as we slosh through puddles of icy water. Sophie pauses every now and then to shake raindrops from her fur. Everywhere we hear the drip drip of rain, keeping time to the snow sliding off bare winter branches.
Sleet slices through the air, and we keep our faces down. The ground is frozen now, and we tread with care. Patches of ice reveal themselves only after we have skidded and slid this way and that, even sure footed Sophie is uncertain about where to walk, which turn to take. Plumes of smoke waft from our neighbor’s homes; we can see them gathered by fireplaces and under the golden glow of lamps as we make our way through the frigid evening, up the street and around the corner and then home.