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December 7, 2004
That wasn't the smartest thing I ever did, getting matching shearling slippers for Q and me. I thought we'd look cute, as we most assuredly do in our matching yellow checked aprons -- Jeez, Norah said when she first saw us in them, I can't believe you guys are actually wearing those. That meant she thought we looked cute, right? But few people ever look at your feet, and in the dark I am forever finding his slippers and not my own, clunking clumsily around in them until daybreak, when I can locate mine.

Ah, but they feel so good. So warm. The Geranium Farm's office is not well heated, except with a small space heater that uses up so much juice I don't like to run it much, and your feet get cold. And when I come home from the city in the night, there they are, soft. Hello. Welcome back. They are as close to being in bed as I can get until I've had a decent dinner.

I'm about done shopping, Trapper says. I think I'm going to get my dad a sweater. His dad is old and ill. Now I know you're old, I said to him last summer, look at you, you're wearing a sweater in August, and he just laughed. But it's true: you get cold when you're old and ill. Old people wear sweaters all the time.

I'm cold, too. Always wanting a blanket, a sweater, a shawl. Socks. I used to run around the house barefoot, like my teenaged granddaughters do now, but I can't stand the chill anymore. Used to go out with my neck bare and not mind. Not now. Never bothered with a hat or a scarf. But I'm too cold, now. And it's been a mild fall. It works in my favor in the summer -- I don't mind the heat and neither does Q. We have no air conditioning and don't need any.

What's happening? Does your blood slow down? Your inner thermostat get out of whack? Or maybe it's just my mind, more content to nest than to wander bravely out into the wind. More interested in a nice fire in the fireplace than in going out to a movie. Than in going out anywhere. In is where I want to be.

You want to stay in, but you must go out. Life is not over yet, and there is much to do. In and out you go, between the cold and the warm, the light and the dark, reflecting as you go upon what a blessing it is to have slippers, to have a blanket, to have your own bed, your own warm house, upon how many people there are who are also cold, who are older than you are, who have none of these things.

The shower of God's love is a warm one. It pours over all of us, all the time, the rich and the poor alike. Feeling it and trusting it makes things warmer right here and now, and makes us remember who we are and who our brothers and sisters are, what we can do -- more than we think -- to bring warmth to them.

This is the season. They'll sell lots of shearling slippers, wool hats, scarves, mittens. Maybe you'll be in the stores, buying some warm things for people you love. But get something for some of these sisters or brothers, too, the ones you do not know, who may have no one to give them something warm and snuggly. Something to shelter them from the wind and keep them warm.
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