Carol A. Hand
One moment, I’m reliving memories of the past, driving through a snowstorm on an October night.
After eating, I go to the small gas station next door to ask directions to the address Ward Wright gave me for tonight’s interview.
By the time I leave my motel, it’s dark, windy, and snowy. As I try to find the roadway beneath the blowing snow, I realize how anxious I’m feeling about going to a stranger’s house alone. I drive along the blustery west-shore road that hugs the lake, trying to find the address Ward gave me through the foggy car windows. Finally, I notice a house on a hill with a wall of lighted windows on the west side of the road. I turn into the steep driveway hoping I’ve arrived at the right place.
As I approach the house through swirling snow, buffeted myself by the strong winds, I see a tall, lean man through the walls of glass. He motions to me, pointing to a door on the back porch. I enter and walk through the porch into the brightly lit kitchen. I introduce myself to the self-assured handsome man in his mid-50’s who greets me. He has the aristocratic demeanor of someone accustomed to being in charge. I’m surprised when he asks me where I would like to sit. I wonder if this is a test to find out something about the strange woman who has shown up on his doorstep.
“We should sit wherever you feel most comfortable,” I reply….
The next moment, I look up from my computer and gaze out the living room window at the sunny April landscape. I take a few sips of cold coffee and peek out the kitchen window as I gently part the curtain. I’m grateful to see that the little mother bird is back in her nest to feed her babies.
I disturbed her yesterday when I opened the curtain and tried to take her picture, so I won’t try again. You’ll have to trust my words. A bird family really does live in this creative repurposed nest abandoned by the wasps that called it home last summer.
Satisfied, I return to the past.
The wind grows stronger as we speak, propelling snow against the windows. The lights begin to flicker and I realize that I’m very cold – more from fatigue than from the room temperature. It seems wise to end our meeting. It’s late, after 9 p.m., and the weather is deteriorating. I thank Ward and we say our goodbyes.
As I drive through the blowing snow, gripping the steering wheel tightly, I think about the interview. It was intense and I often felt uncomfortable….