Delightful is this day, and excepting that all my family and all my friends are not here with me, the day is close to perfect. For hours gossamer snow has fallen from the grayish skies, so that now the yards and the decks match, having set aside their individual colors to take on the pristine white that only comes from an ermine shawl of fresh snow. The house is completely decorated for Christmas, inside and out, strings of tiny lights offering up their glitter as a gift to the festivities, Winston is snoozing here and there as pleases him at that moment, and Jerry is fixed in his recliner, by turns reading the paper and talking by phone to friends and relatives. This afternoon I will bake things in anticipation of our open house we will host next Saturday. A fire is blazing in the living room, while outside the snow continues to fall. The tall pines and cedars are well-dressed now in their winter finery, and when I open a slider, I hear the sizzle that miraculously snowflakes make as they curve through the frigid air.