It's Thursday morning, and it looks like we missed out on the worst of the storm. The road and our driveway look like they've been spray-painted white. Last night, Rich & I took the dogs out during a lull in the sleet, the lights of Charleston were orange to the northwest (it's at night that those seven miles to town feel a real distance) and we could hear the cows at the end of our road mowing, first low, and then with more urgency. We could also hear the howling of coyotes. It is such a singular sound, pure animal. Mournful. Chiquita, the chihuahua-dachshund mix went in with Rich, leaving me with the two boy-dogs. They were mostly just playing in the snow, and I was enjoying the sound of the rain hitting the ground. I imagined I could hear it freezing in that first second it hit. I was enjoying looking at the colored Christmas lights, barely moving in the minimal breeze when all three of us heard it, at the end of our driveway: three insistent little yips. Like a puppy, begging to play. Kerouac & Happy, the boy-dogs, both froze, ears up, tails straight, and then turned and ran to the door. I followed, obediently. I didn't have the flashlight, but knew there was at least one coyote there, looking for an easy meal.