Outside the kitchen window, flurries of snow were roiling in the cold air under the command of the cruel, capricious wind. Gusts of wind drove the descending snowflakes diagonally, sending an occasional burst of white upwards. In a disharmonious manner, some plunged straight down while others drifted about in suspension, only to continue falling after a few moments. The wind acted as the conductor of a flourishing orchestra, blowing at wild irregularities and forming snowflakes into floating, roaring notes. Other times, however, they danced in perfect synchronization, like ballerinas tiptoeing across the stage.
The usual empty, sun-drenched backyard scenery had been transformed by the frosty snow. Where there used to be dead green grass, lied a thick, white frosting smothered across. Chunks of snowflakes landed on the slender vines that were shriveled up and coiled around the pillars. Barren trees, twisting up from the cold ground, were clothed with white. The limbs of the trees and bushes became heavy by the frozen crystals, squeaking and groaning as they settled.
But with the tyrannical wind refusing to surrender, the branches continued to sway back and forth, causing heaps of snow to tumble down. A piercing coldness occupied every inch of the air. It gnawed at the branches and vines, sucking out every bit of moisture left in them.
But in the kitchen, it was warm and quiet and peaceful and cozy. The heater was turned up to seventy-two degrees Fahrenheit, bringing a level of comfort that did not exist in the freezing outdoors.
Several stubs of scented candles flickered on the window sill, providing an extra source of light. Their fragrance permeated the air with the pleasant, sweet smell of spring morning blooming flowers, pine trees, green grass, cool breezes. Below, the sink carved into the granite countertop. Stacks of plates and cups, as well as a jumble of utensils, waited patiently to be washed. Within the pile, pieces of scattered bread crumbs stuck to the bottom of the basin.
From a distance, Ludwig Van Beethoven’s “Moonlight Sonata” trickled into the kitchen. Like a dove soaring through an open sky, gentle arpeggiations graced the atmosphere with serenity. The rhythmic ostinato of triplets gave the piece a rolling feeling, as though it swayed back and forth.
Alongside the granite sink were chestnut brown wooden cabinets, with handles designed to look like old-fashioned brass keys in ornate locks. Tuscany yellow wallpaper plastered the walls, and a lacy, sandpaper texture added a lighter color to the base. Not extremely noticeable but certainly visible, the bottom corner edge of the wallpaper had started to peel off slightly.
In the middle of the kitchen, an oak table stood on the bare flagstone floor, and was bordered by soft, pillowy, cushioned chairs. In addition to being the location of our first meal of the day, it was also a place for sharing news and connecting with each other. The surface of the table was stained by a coffee mug, and next to it situated a wooden picture frame that held a photograph of my family. Underneath the table, Blanket, my family owned white Pomeranian, was sleeping on his hammock bed.
I stood in front of the kitchen stove, which was attached to the wall opposite the window. Dressed in my favorite cable knit sweater, one that my grandma hand-knitted and surprised me with on my thirteenth birthday, the seams filled with love and care. Fleece leggings lined my legs snuggly, and fuzzy socks wrapped my toes like a tender hug from mom. The small humble flames dreamed in its stovetop bed,
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