Still window-rattling blustery, dive-under-the-covers cold (for this time of year, that is). The wind ripped the leaves from the chokecherry tree, and I found a very frustrated dark-eyed junco blown through the cat door into our screened porch. It’s all relative, though. This will feel like a welcome, hopeful sign of spring come February.

I just learned my grandmother (Oma) passed away. I feel heavy, swollen inside. I can’t move. My tongue is thick. My throat is tight.

She was strong, sharp, and a dear, dear Oma to me. Although she’s been an ocean away, I always felt close to her. And now she’s moved from out there to in here; from a very specific physical place, far away, to everywhere. I think she’ll like it here. Bless you, Oma.