It’s probably closer to the millhouse if I go this way, anyway, than if I go all the way down the driveway and then back up the road, I think.
I walk with determination into the high, dry grass, not caring that weeds snag my nylons. The cypresses ahead undulated sinuously in erratic wind bursts, and the straight path through the woods seems to waver precariously.
I pull my cape tighter and enter the woods.
When I exit the trees my high heels wobble on clumps of frozen earth, and the wind blows steadily as I descend the terraced hillside between rows of barren vines. Finally, I slip inside the millhouse, slide the door latch and turn on the floor lamp. I’m too agitated to go to bed. I grab a few pine cones and toss them in the fireplace, pick up a bundle of twigs, and place them on top. I retrieve some bigger kindling from the stack against the wall, and build a tepee over the twigs. I’ve acquired good fire-building skills during these cold months and I’m grateful that the task requires my attention, because I don’t want to think about what just happened.