It is with gleeful heart that I report our longtime neighbor, Mr. Winter, has taken a turn for the worse.

He moved in a long, long while ago and has spent his time here howling at night, scattering debris all over our yard and generally giving us the cold shoulder whenever we venture out into the neighborhood.

We knew something was amiss when over the past few weeks, we began to hear chirping outside our morning window. Even the suburban collection of birds seemed to take joy in his ill health. We’ve noticed that he’s coughing up disgusting frozen breaths recently. We don’t expect him to go quietly though.

His bad manners will surely follow him to the grave, haunting us long after his daughter, Vernal, moves back in. We like her; she plants flowers everywhere and spruces up the trees.

I won’t say our neighbor has been all bad. He allowed us to spend a little time slowed down, reflecting, looking inward.

Yeah, we got over that by early January.

Looking like a scene from Ice Station Zebra, one of our solar lights pokes back up through the arctic tundra.