Today I am aware of sounds; the roar of the fire, the crinkling of falling flakes, the cat dragging it's dish across the kitchen floor. I call my parents to make sure they are tucked away, out of the storm. They are out gallivanting and in wonderful spirits. I remind myself not to underestimate them. Over breakfast, one of us cracks a joke that sends us into fits. Neither of us can remember it. The varied thrush is at the feeder. He is a strictly foul-weather friend. The house has been thoroughly cleaned, as other chores have been postponed. The cook book lies open to "pies" on the kitchen counter, and everywhere, another cup of tea.