I came home to snow and pee.
I left the airport parking ramp in cold and sleet. I kept my windshield wipers on low to clear away the precipitation and the splatter from the other vehicles on the freeway.
I had just flown in from sunny and 75 Arizona. Even if I could live there, I am suited for four seasons, for driving in rainstorms as well as snow and ice. Our Midwest landscape with its seasons of whites and greens fits me more than brown desert.
The roads were fine as long as I respected them with reasonable speeds. I stayed in the right lane and let the others pass.
I saw the shovel Michael had dug out from the back of the garage. He takes shoveling seriously. Any acclimation of snow requires attention. My daughters stood in the door, open wide, chanting Mommy, Mommy, Mommy as I gathered my suitcase and purse. The girls wore pajamas. They were in their bare feet. Mommy! You are home! I heard Michael yell, shut the door!
Once inside, all three girls gathered at my waist with hugs. Corrigan declared, group hug! And I waved Michael over for the five of us to gather in a circle and cheer about my return.
Archer, our German Shepherd puppy, waited behind the gate in the kitchen nook. Even in the four days I was gone, he grew bigger, his tall ears and paws hung over the gate. I heard his happy whine. He barked. He wiggled with joy. I climbed into the nook to hug him and tell him how good it was to see him.
With each wag of his tail, he squirted pee on the linoleum. He doesn’t leave a puddle, just squirts like a spray bottle. He covered most of the floor, the size of a 5 x 7 rug, with his bliss. He has shared his happy pee when he has greeted my sister or my in-laws or my neighbor. This was the first time he was so pleased to see me that he let himself show it all over the floor.
Michael handed me a towel.
I took him out to pee in the new snow, the first fall of the season. He sniffed. He ran down the line of our fence. I stood in the quiet and watched our backyard, our mini winter wonderland, be trampled with his tracks and the yellow snow he left behind.
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