On Monday, I woke early and stayed in bed, listening to “Morning Edition,” on KUAC. I was in and out of consciousness. A strange feeling. Like floating.

I’ve had the thought several times that shoveling snow, clearing the driveway is like writing. If I do it regularly, it’s not heavy lifting. If I don’t, it’s a whole lot harder.

As I left the cabin, a light rain pattered on my face and red puff jacket. The radio had announced the schools were closing at noon due to icy road conditions. How bad can it be? I wondered as I started for campus.

I nearly fell a half-dozen times before I got up the first hill. I looked like Charlie Chaplin. I’d take two steps and slide back down the hill. I made it up the hill and halfway down the next hill, sliding, slipping, arms flailing to recove r my balance, when I decided I’d had enough warning and I’d better turn back. I turned and immediately fell and smacked my right arm and right side of my body hard on the icy road. Classic.

At 3 p.m., the radio announced a winter storm warning for Interior Alaska, including the Tanana Valley, until 6 p.m. Tuesday.

I listened to NPR’s “Fresh Air.” An interview with the author of “Waiting for Snow in Havana” who had a new book out, “Learning to Die in Miami.”

The snow became wet and heavy; tree branches sagged. Clumps of wet snow dropped. thump, thump, thump, when the branches could no longer support the weight. I could see birds swooping among the trees, against the small sky opening.

The “news” on the radio was all about spending, spending more, having spent too much. A survey said Americans would be spending more on gifts this year. Then a story about Ireland’s austerity budget and compromising their sovereignty, the price they’re paying for living beyond their means.

The radio announced schools and University of Alaska Fairbanks would be closed on Tuesday. I realized I wouldn’t be going anywhere…and didn’t have anywhere to go anyway. And, honestly, I was content to sit in the cabin, stoke the fire and alternate between listening to the radio and reading.

I pilfered a single AA battery from each of the alarm clocks I never use and replaced the dying batteries in my shortwave radio. The time would remain frozen at 6 o’clock.

I took stock: I’ve got water (thank goodness for the delivery last week.) I have plenty of wood and I’ve got enough food a few days, probably a week or longer, if need be. That’s all just luck, though, I realized. I hadn’t planned for it. I hadn’t deliberately prepared to be iced in. I made a note that the next time I go to the store I need to buy batteries and some necessities in bulk.

At night, craving activity, I shoveled snow from the porch. Before the rain, I’d been able to sweep the snow and it would scatter and dance lightly. Now I had to heave and heft to lift the rain-sodden snow. Before, everything was light and sparkly—like life in a snow globe. Now the trees were shedding their heavy snow garments, exposing bare limbs again.

On Tuesday, I woke early again. The heavy clouds match the heavy snow. The radio announcer said it’s a “historic rain event:” a half-inch on Monday, a half-inch expected on Tuesday. The last record was January 20, 1937. An inch of rain is a historic event? An inch of rain in a November hour is possible in Oregon.

I decided to go for a walk. I got two steps out of my driveway and my feet flew out from under me. I hit the road with a hard smack before I knew I was falling. Back to the house.

I called my friends Ed and Kathy, just to hear human voices. I visited my neighbor, Martha, and happily accepted her daughter Spalding’s invitation to watch “The Mask” and then “Legally Blonde.” We laughed a lot and I was happy for the sounds and company of others.

The radio announced classes that schools and UAF would be cancelled again on Wednesday.

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