Lights Out - A place sketch by Foster Woodruff

I sail inside my home, door crashing as the starving turmoil of air and rain thrash my family’s small abode.  “Clank, clank,” go the fall decorations, huddled inside the window boxes.  Off goes the beagle’s leash, in perfect compilation with the cascading spring erupting from his soaked fur coat.  Night walk accomplished, the two of us gallop indoors to the no-electricity-atmosphere that awaits us, the threatening storm looming atop.  

Outside the trees slowly moan, harmonizing with the whistling wind that spins, nipping at the cottage walls.  Bickering back, the leaves jump up and rustle around in protest to the disturbing breeze.  Indoors, the candles are lit and the fire crackles away, sending glowing embers up the lofty stone chimney.  Already, resting alongside the hand-crafted fireplace lies the dog.  Dispersed lie his legs, sprawled across the stained wood floor in a whole realm of his own, letting out the occasional snore.  The blankets have been rationed and each individual is burrowed inside their own corner of the age old couch.  Hugged in by the warmth, everyone is in a drugged state, some with book in hand, others completely enveloped by the surrounding comfort, head nodding.

Singing away goes the tea kettle, beckoning for someone to reluctantly pull themselves out of the crisscrossing layers of warmth.  I dash out of the luxury for only a second, dragging along with me a hitchhiking blanket to retrieve the pot from the fire.  Grabbing mugs for the family, I divide the steaming contents and hurry back to the beckoning living room.  I peer out of our large A-frame style windows and gaze upon the pounding storm that thrashes the treetops overhead.  Our old hunting cabin stays strong, and sound, while the torrent of rain and wind bicker outside the walls.  The dark closes in, yet the house is still aglow.  The fireplace continues to be filled by the armful after armful of dry crackling oak that continues to warm the old creaking home.  Slowly the couches are pushed back, and the blankets sent to the floor, where our beds are constructed alongside our one source of heat.  I take first watch in tending to the fire while the rest of my family retreats for the night.  Slowly the wood turns to ash.  Looming overhead is the thought that the treacherous journey outside must be made.  New wood must be gathered to keep my family in their warm slumber.  Quivering I gather my coat, and gloves, slowly edging the cold.  The ink black night consumes me and with heart pounding, I dash down the deck stairs.  Outside the wind whistles and the trees moan.