Wake early to baby's baby-monitored whispers and, in the midst of getting on with our day, discover that it has snowed again.
Grumble. Pile into the car, grumble some more, snarl when we see the length of the line at the drive-thru at Tim Horton's.
Twenty minutes later, our bellies are just starting to work on breakfast when we find ourselves at the forest entrance.
Photo Assiniboine Forest, Wpg, MB. March 2, 2007.
And it doesn't matter how much snow has fallen overnight because the path is always broken for us before we get there
by the switchblade hoofprints of snow-bound deer
or the long strides of old cross country skis, the bamboo poles taking core samples from unbroken snow
or, most often, the flurry of footprints in every direction and left by dogs, half-mad on central heating and static.
And it doesn' t matter how windy it is, because once you're under the trees, it's warm and calm and baby almost alway dozes in her sled.
So M pulls while I trudge on ahead, camera cocked, scanning the surroundings.
Midway through, I take the string for the sled and surge on ahead, glad for a chance to warm up.
Then we go to M's parents' house and shovel.