On the plane ride back I read the current Newsweek, which I hardly ever read. There was a long article about Huckabee, who now is leading the polls for the Iowa primaries. Huckabee has spent 19 years being a Baptist minister, and he said that he wants to bring our nation back to the "real truth" with is that of his religion. He sounded good until I began to read quotes of his actual words, and by his own words he made it clear that he is a Christian and his goal is to get the rest of us to behave like Christians too. OUT. Out of the Whitehouse, missionary Christians. Separation of Church and State, that's what we want.
Anyway, back in Portland we took a taxi home from the airport. The driver barely spoke English and didn't respond to my inquiry about how his New Year was going. But he got our address and drove us home so fast and smooth that we were both in awe. He knew exactly where he was going. The roads were like spaghetti, looping around. He never his the brakes, only the gas, except for the one time that we saw a cop. He slowed wayyy down to pass the cop.
At home our apartment was barricaded by layers of smells. A skunk stench outside, not recent or strong, but detectable and unpleasant as skunk always is. Then in the hall the smell of cat piss. Once into the apartment, a different animal smell. Suzanne immediately lit some candles and I started some incense in the hall. We began the process of reclaiming our space. Sitting on the couch we were both cold, and started thinking again about how to beat the constant chill of this place. I thought fondly of the fine fires my dad builds in his fireplace, and of the fire we had on Christmas day at my mom's. I dig fire. We had a few sips of the moonshine that my dad gave Suzanne, and it tasted far better than the first time.
This morning we awakened to dim light and guessed at the time. As always, it is hard to know. The light comes up gradually and does not get bright. It has rained steadily most of the day. In the morning we got groceries and picked up our pets from my schoolmate's house. In the afternoon we made a trip to Target to get a new heater. I wanted a radiant heater that I could sit in front of. Something with NO FAN. The "blower" in our apartment just makes me cold.
I'm sitting in front of the new tower heater now, and it is like having a fire. It is both warm and light. The kitten curled up next to me in the heat as soon as Suzanne took her pug outside. I could use another week to relax before school starts but I don't have that. I guess I'm ready for school. I'm more ready than I was last time.