Killing Time

By mid-winter, when darkness dominates the hours and the lights are most needed—they don't shine a bit.

In fact, I had assumed, the rechargeable batteries inside each one had died and would need to be replaced before spring. But then, coming home a few weeks ago in the evening's new darkness, I had to pause as I began to walk up my driveway—from the light closest to the end of our house, the one that gets the most sun during the day, there came a faint glow.

"Well, look at that," I muttered. The frail glow made me smile. It reminded me that the days were getting longer and that soon, very soon, more sunlight, warmer weather and turkey season, yes, that wonderful season, would be upon us.

Each evening when I came home, I noted the light's efforts and observed how it seemed to shine a little brighter, a little more confidently. Soon, the middle light shared the same glow, faint at first and then gradually growing brighter. Finally, while trodding toward my front door last Thursday, after a particularly long day, I stopped—the third and final light in the small flowerbed was alight. I was so overjoyed at the sight (I know, I lead a simple life), I got down on all fours and peered closely at the straining bulb. I then noted that for as late as it was, even the sky still held a trace of sunlight. Spring was practically upon us, even if the bitter temperature declared otherwise.

About that time, my neighbor's daughter stepped from her house and cast a scowl in my direction.

"Drunk!" I'm sure she thought at the sight of me on my hands and knees at the edge of the flowerbed.

I turned my attention back to the bulb, nodded my head in approval and then made the grand entrance into my home where my daughter and dog both joyously tackle me each evening as I struggle across the threshold and into the better part of my day. I knew the sound of laughter in camp and time spent outdoors would be arriving very, very soon and all of the lights would remain shining late into every night. I can't wait.