with 15 cents for the Sunday paper on days like this. If a cold wind blew
from the north, the druggist's wife would coax me to warm up with a cup
of hot cocoa before I started back home.
I didn't need much persuasion to accept her offer. No cocoa ever tasted
better than the cup that warmed me as I sat on a stool at that marble
Smiling and warm, I'd leave that store, detouring past the railroad
station where a warm fire crackled in a cast-iron potbelly stove, heating
the entire station.
I always stopped to toast my fingers and breathe in the aromas of paper
and people and to listen to the clicking of the telegraph. It was 1942
and telegrams that brought tears to the operators eyes were,
unfortunately, not uncommon.
I knew that he would call the person who was to receive the message and a
local pastor to give comfort. We would all share the sad news by Monday
The streets were usually deserted. Dark drippy days are made for sleeping
late and dawdling over breakfast going to the late service. I'd stomp
along noisily, enjoying the crunch of the ice and snow under my boots and
sliding across slick patches, balancing myself with the heavy newspaper
and congratulating myself on my grace and talent a legend in my own
mind, as the saying goes.
I don't have to walk down to the drugstore to get my paper any more. The
closest drugstore is more than three miles away. I wouldnt mind the walk
down, but I'd have to climb back up the steep hill I live on - and I
don't think I'd make it.
These days I have the paper delivered right to my door. Progress is
After breakfast I made a log fire in the fireplace. It's that kind of a
The living room is warm and cozy. There's a cat sleeping on the loveseat
and another at my feet. They love the heat.
The littlest furball, Chloe, has knocked papers and pencils off the desk,
making room for herself behind the word processor. I pound away, but she
ignores me until I stop. Then that little white paw steals out and finds
my hand where it settles.
I talk to her and hear a rumbling purr in response. She isnt asleep.