"Arthur, is that you?"
"Yes", came Mr. Weasley's weary voice. "But I would say that even if I were a Death Eater, dear. Ask the question!"
"...All right, all right... What is your dearest ambition?"
"To find out how airplanes stay up."
I personally don't fully understand how airplanes stay up, but nonetheless I enjoy flying. It amazes me that two hours in a plane can take me from this state that has been my home for over ten years and put me back in the town in which I grew up, which I've seen only once in all that time. Just two hours, and I stand beside she who has been the truest of friends for nineteen years, and the family to which I could always turn if something happened to my own--people whom I rarely see because of the seven hundred miles between us.
Normally one should choose summer, not winter, to visit Montana. Last time I flew in, a blizzard came with me; this time, I rode in on the wings of the coldest spell they've had probably since I left. At below-zero temperatures, the very oxygen seems to freeze and the skin inside of noses crinkles in disgust. But since it had snowed--again--in Bellingham, snow and cold in Montana didn't seem such a big deal. Snow in Bellingham stops life. Snow in Montana is just part of living.
Cold or not, though, the wedding for which I made the trip was beautiful, and the visit with my friends thoroughly precious to me. Even though Briana and I can pick up the phone after weeks or even a couple of months and talk like we'd never left off, getting to see her in person is better yet. Five days, blessing though they were, were not long enough.
They did end, though, and another two hours of airplane ride brought me back to Washington and the Saint, whom, I must confess, I missed rather constantly; and my parents, whom I still miss because this dadburn cold I've got has prevented me from making my regular trip to their house for two weeks running.
For now, I'm tired and going to bed. Before I do, though, here's what happened with the snapping turtle, for all of you who asked:
My family used to live next to a lake in Florida, which was great until the alligators set up housekeeping in the cattails. We used to fish the lake a lot, and one day Dad and my uncle caught a snapping turtle. Beth and I, aged about three and five at the time, were playing in the yard. Dad and my uncle chopped off the turtle's head and the turtle took off running right at Beth and I. We ran away from it, shrieking, and both of us will swear that it followed us in a circle. That may be purely coincidental, of course, but I dare anyone to hold their ground under similar circumstances :-)