It was one of those mornings; not the good kind – the kind that make you wonder if your mother wasn’t right all along about the wisdom of moving to Alaska. Or did she use the word “sanity”?
It was 6:30 AM and we’d had quite a blizzard overnight. Mr. T chose this of all mornings to decide he had to go out REAL BAD. So I stumbled to his very own little half door in my entryway. This led to a porch where he could do whatever he wanted all winter/ In the summer, I just washed it away.
There was just one little problem. For the first time since I’d had this bright idea about his very own dog door, it was snowed in over the top of the opening. Not wanting to deal with shoveling snow at 6:30 in the morning while standing in my nightgown with floppy slippers on, I turned to the front door and opened it. I figured with the blizzard going on, I didn’t have to worry about him running very far. In fact, I hoped he’d at least get off the top step before commencing with the business at hand.
Unfortunately, there was a four-foot drift in front of the door. It looked pretty solid so I grabbed him and placed him atop the snow thinking he could do his thing and then we could both get back to bed where we belonged. The snow was not that firm. He sank like that proverbial lead balloon. I plunged my bare hands into the whining, barking snow and pulled him out. Then I admitted to reality and started shoveling out his dog door while he hopped from foot to foot urging me on.
Needless to say, I was in less than a good mood when I climbed back into bed about an hour later. I was cold, wet, wide-awake and loath to take a look at my driveway. I finally decided there just wasn’t enough incentive at the office to make me face what was, in all likelihood, the ugly reality of trying to get my car to back out over a huge snow drift. The young men my friends had thoughtfully raised to just the right age to shovel would not be out of school till after 3PM. Till then I was a prisoner of my home and thought the day called for the complete indulgence of a nightgown, a good book and hot chocolate.
I had given my friend Greta the Harry Potter set for Christmas. Since she’d ended up with two sets of it, I kept mine telling her I wanted to read them first and then would let her have them. It seemed like the perfect snowy day diversion.
Well, it was the perfect diversion to a degree I’m almost ashamed to admit. I made it to work that day only after finishing the first book. Not since I read the Oz series as a child have I been so entranced with another world. What great characters and fantastic settings. I want to go to that high school. I want to be their friend. I want magic to be as commonplace in my world as it is in theirs.
Truth be told, I’ve gone a little daffy over Harry. Maybe this is a reaction to last weekend’s Brendan-Fraser-in-a-loincloth movie marathon (after all, how many times can you really watch “George of the Jungle”?), or maybe it’s a wild ride back to the fantasy worlds of my childhood. Whatever it is, it’s wonderful. So all you adults out there who want to revisit the child within, or just want to take a mental break from Alaska’s long winter, treat yourself to a warm mug of chocolate, snuggle up in a cozy comforter and travel to Harry’s world. Be warned though – you might never want to return.