A Piece of Northern Winter

If you’re anything like me, you call any little shift in routine “an adventure.” This might be a way to cope with small changes, rather than to let them irritate me. In order to go back up to college, I had to first quarantine for two weeks in a state that borders New York and since my aunt and uncle live in Massachusetts, in a suburb of Boston, they graciously allowed me to stay with them for the two weeks.

As part of my adventure, I’d stare out of my second story window, as it occasionally snowed, feeling like I’m in that scene in the third Harry Potter book, where Harry gets to spend time in Diagon Alley in the weeks leading up to school. This might be a good time to mention that I watched a Harry Potter marathon while there, reaffirming how much I love Harry Potter. 

Since I’ve only seen snow a handful of times in my life, the mystique of snow has not yet left me, so I spent a few hours traipsing around outside in the snow and throwing a ball around for their chocolate lab, Lola. I read “The Alchemist” for school with Lola on my lap. I also had her with me on my bed while I worked on my novel, reinforcing my dream that I will one day be doing the same, except with a German Shepherd in my own apartment. When their dog isn’t outside tiring me out, she’s sitting directly in front of the fire, probably burning her retinas with how intently she stares into it. 

My mother arrived a week or so later and even though this is a woman who I once heard describe herself as a “furnace,” she still bundled up with multiple gloves at the urging of my father. I, meanwhile, wore my clunky snow boots, also at his urging, to ensure that my feet didn’t turn to blocks of ice. I was raised in a sub-tropical climate after all.

My mom, my cousin Olivia, and I went to the nearby quarry that was iced over. I once heard an artist refer to a similar scene as being in “James Fenimore Cooper country” and even though “The Last of the Mohicans” is still on my reading list, I know exactly what he means. 

This is what greeted us on our way to the quarry. I’m guessing that maybe we weren’t allowed inside after all

I rewatched “The Queen’s Gambit,” simply because I love it. I started everyday off with hot tea, kept up with the news, and mentally prepared to go back to college. There were plenty of great meals, with some amazing desserts in the mix. Aside from tiramisu and lemon mascarpone, we got special ice cream from “Richardson’s Ice Cream,” my treat once, and experimentally-flavored cookies from “Crumbl,” where you can buy cookies almost as big as your head, the only real metric of food in America. I am on my way to being a glutton for desserts, just in time for me to return to allergen-safe, COVID-restricted cafeteria food on campus.  

That’s just how the cookie crumbles
Just one more

Overall, I had a great time hanging around with my cousins, even when the pandemic made it very hard to do anything fun. If ever I’m in a bind again, I take heart in knowing that I’m welcome at my aunt’s house.

The Tragic Queen,

Raquel

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