On the shortest day of the year, we spend time wandering the seaside village. Sidewalks with dogs on leashes. Driftwood, rock piles and bright flowers in salted sunshine.
My sister’s patience conjures awe as she navigates 2 three year-olds through cinnamon sticky buns and waving sticks that mimic power tools. I’d forgotten this age, and it seems Jeb has too, as he watches, puzzled, at their antics, my index finger through the belt loop of small jeans that are kneeling over the edge of the river.
We leave Santa Cruz County by 2 and the sun is already tilting to set. Back to scanning the radio dial. We’re in Fresno County on Highway 99 by dusk, and have returned to the radio scan where one can choose from Christmas songs done Mariachi style on 5 different stations or country-style ala KJUG. Or one can just listen to a reading from the Bible.
Jeb reaches one finger toward the power button of the radio dial, his eyebrows lifted in my direction. “Is it just better this way?”
He means “off”. I say “yes.”
Silence and the sun melt with hazy sky to make a pink soup of cotton candy. Leftover french fries sit in the Burger King bag between us. Headlights on the semis move colors on the highway. Winter Solstice and we’re just going to keep getting closer to the light.