It feels like a moonlit walk through a forest susurrant with life. Buck, Maggie and I walk slowly from our office in the old part of the house to our bedroom, where The Cloud awaits, turning off lights as we go.
Maggie stands so close to Buck, her bronze chocolate fur touches his left leg as we move. Each time we stop to pull a plug, to talk for a moment, Maggie sits and leans against Buck’s leg. She looks up at him earnestly, trying to read the tea leaves. Is it time yet? Is it time for my cookie?
I move carefully, not wanting to spill a drop of the hot lemongrass and spearmint brew I am carrying in a thick pottery mug cradled in that bony place between my breasts. It is radiating enough warmth to remove an entire day’s chill.
The three of us must look an odd parade, stopping at each of three fake Christmas trees that we put up right after Thanksgiving. They have become as real to us as the Velveteen Rabbit.
We unplug the last one. As the tiny white twinkling lights go dim, I say, “That one reminds me of the lights in the old Driftwood Restaurant, where we had lunch together for the first time.”
Buck says, “Yes, it does me too. And sweet baby? Let’s don’t be in a hurry to take them down. Okay?”