In the morning my body ached from the emotional weight of the day before. I felt out sorts, as though I had been through the ringer of a full day at the emergency department followed by transport and admission. On edge, away from home, I awoke and dressed in the full light of day during the late hour of 9 a.m. I know what to do when I feel this way. I would go for a walk and write. That was all we had planned for the day.

I left when only our hostess was awake and our son made his signature cooing sounds seeking to lull himself to sleep. Bundling up (though not enough) I got the general direction of the town square and headed downhill.

I love to walk. It is my remedy to life. If I can walk and explore and discover, I feel my equilibrium restored. Perhaps I put too much expectation on one small act, but I came back feeling alive with the burn of cold cheeks, the sight of the old courthouse framed with falling leaves and the pleasure of finding my way back without the written or digital assistance of directions.

I stopped at a tidy Goodwill where clothes are logically sorted by sex and size, as opposed to our local Goodwill in which they are only sorted by color, missing the entire point of treasure hunting and shopping in general.

After perusing the dishes for any from the set Currier and Ives by Royal China, I continued my way to the courthouse, then passed the church and then returned home, lest the burden of changing Peter and restoring his freedom should fall solely on my husband. My daughter, our host and a child she babysits were the only persons awake. I drank coffee and we discussed breakfast plans. Soon Kyle came wandering down and soon we went wandering up to see what the little boy doth need.

The house is 110 years old. The door and window casings stretch from the opening six inches across the wall. Downstairs they are a rich cherry stain. The hardwood floors are walnut color. The carpets in the bedrooms, hallways and stairs are new. The tile is well-installed in the bathrooms. Sink fixtures are new. Ceilings are old. Instead of popcorn they exhibit a drip technique reminiscent of spelunking or meringue, whatever sounds better because they do not look too bad, just very interesting.

Little else happened yesterday. We dined on cheesy potato soup and homemade sourdough bread. We ate meatloaf with mash potatoes in the evening. I missed my lattes and craved hot chocolate because of the chill air, but found the soup to hit the spot.

I chatted with our host about family life and expectations. I explained Peter’s medical condition in greater detail which somehow always feels easier in person, likely because I can see when I have lost the person along the way.

Kyle tuned and appraised their grand piano and planned new wind chime designs for Mod Shop. I wrote and read Little Woman, having abandoned Moby Dick to live his life somewhere along page 200. We took a short walk but the cold turned me off. It seems to me Miriam missed her siblings. She amused herself well enough and is not accustomed to looking to me for entertainment. She sleeps in an attic with three little beds tucked behind playful shower curtains and paper lantern string lights along the ceiling. Books are her company. She read, slid down the carpeted stairs, swung on the swings outside and crafted in the afternoon. A play date was planned then canceled due to colds on the part of the playing family. In the evening when Kyle’s cousin came home from work, I could feel the delight rise in him in the presence of his oldest and best friend. I went to bed early to read and be alone, going to sleep more adapted to EST than I intended.