We made the hot chocolate with microwaved milk, instead of using boiled water like I did at home.
It was never quite as hot, but always warmer on my insides as we sat there, cheeks pink from the snow outside and all of us thinking hard what to do next.
Tents, or houses, made from blankets. Some of them were so heavy, we had to use our schoolbooks to pin them to the couches. There was barely enough room underneath for even our smaller bodies to crawl, especially after we padded the carpet with cushions. It was okay because we were being Cats, and cats don't stand up inside anyway.
Sometimes we made hot chocolate with only half the powdered packet, and ate the other half, which I never did at home. It stuck to my teeth in little gooey lumps, and I thought that was funny.
When we got tired of talking, we lay down and tried to read in the dimness of those quilted shadows. Eventually we took the books and migrated back upstairs to where the winter sunlight poured in through the window.
Sometimes we didn't make hot chocolate at all. If we had played long enough, if the house was warm enough that we didn't care about the cold, we had cups of apple juice instead.
We asked to sleep under those blanket-houses, so we could keep playing even in our dreams, but ended up in proper beds anyway.
Still it was the roads that
caught our attention and
my recollection: there,
reality blurred, and we found
a doorway into our own world.
On the roads, we were
or warriors as we wished--
what exciting journeys
to remember! and how
simple to forget the quiet
comfort of the house that
waited, waited patiently
until the weary travelers