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  • Most seriously in fact.

    I removed the red oval cover and rebriefed the use of the handle. "One strong steady pull," I reminded. Winter had arrived with force that night. The forecasts were wrong ... these clouds were heavier with winter's first push than they had said ... and the night was dark.

    Not much happening on Boston Center. The airliners bound to Europe far overhead in the flight levels knew nothing of the intensity of our conversation. The flight attendants there could offer us no warm blankets or maybe just a little something to take the edge off. The cargo pilot climbing out across our path ahead routinely appreciated our reports. He did know the intensity of our weather, but that was also his chosen lot.

    We checked the wings, turned the lights back off, watched the snow warp on by, and imagined the valley below. We probably gave each other the best verbal topography of western Vermont that anyone could muster on short notice.

    Then, slowly, the flakes waned thinner and a farm light passed a mile below. Just a hint through a gap in the clouds.

    We laughed. Home was just moments away.
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