Friday, March 7, 2014


I had intended to go somewhere else today and not mention the snow or the weather again, but the permafrost has permeated me.   The good news, I suppose, is that the winter has created a sense of semi-community in our Pennsylvania neck of the woods, something I have never felt before.  Usually its simply the getting-and-spending dynamic (emphasis on spending) that joins us.

Last night the dark and cold, Janes absence and something I saw on television reminded me of my most memorable winter homecoming journey.  I was returning from Deluxe in Chicago, as I always seemed to be, on a Friday evening in a snowstorm.  After several delays at OHare we eventually landed in Newark sometime after midnight.  My car service had waited for me, thank heaven, and we drove north toward Tuxedo along 287 in the worst snowy weather I had ever seen on a highway.  The driver, an immigrant from Pakistan, performed splendidly and I wondered what the weather was like where he grew up.    We arrived in Tuxedo, passed through the gate, and headed up the hill toward my house.  At the bottom of Ridge Road, it was clear wed reached the final safe place to drive and I told him I would walk the rest of the way.


It was probably about one-quarter to one-third of a mile only, but I was dressed in a business suit carrying a fairly heavy suitcase.  Snow was still falling fast and heavily and drifting high under the night-for-day moonlight.  It was about 2 am then, utterly silent and still, and it reminded me of an Albert Pinkham Ryder painting or one of these Alexander Calder sculptures.  I struggled up Ridge and cut through the Grosses to catch the downward slope of Pepperidge, our road.   I remember thinking that my health and heart must actually be pretty good to survive this.  We have a very long driveway, but eventually I reached our door and the light, warmth and palpable human and animal presence reassured me that I wasnt dreaming, I had survived.   

Caroline and Jane were upstairs sleeping, but Im sure various cats JOINED ME in the cat-bird seat of our glass house kitchen where I drank Scotch and viewed the maelstrom for a little while longer.  I thought to turn on the television before going to bed and for the first time saw Donald Trumps “The Apprentice” show, which was horrible.  When I heard TRUMP say “Youre fired,” I turned it off and would never consider watching it again.  He really drains life of its mystery.  I would have added a perfect link here to Peter Blegvads song “Swim,” but it isnt on Youtube.  You can find it on his “King Strut and Other Stories” album, which I recommend.  It is a masterpiece worthy of Ryder, Calder, Caspar David Friedrich and other Northern masters.


  1. I so enjoy your writing, Curtis. Nothing like the embrace and safety of home after a long, somewhat harrowing, journey. Nell

    1. Thank you very, very much. This really cheers me and means a lot to me. So did the post, actually. Finding the Calders was really great. It's more difficult than I imagined it would be finding appropriate images for this and I thought these were all fantastic. Curtis