The chill from last night’s snow filled the house as Lorraine stood looking out the kitchen window, thinking about the last six months of her life. She had moved to Pine Valley, opened a small shop, found a house, and had gotten divorced from Doug. She was now on the road to the new life. The warm sun shone through the window on Lorraine’s face. She started every morning watching the skiers on the snow coved mountains. Lorraine reached to turn on the water to make coffee and realized the water in the pipes were frozen. She had gone through this many times so she knew what to do. She reached for a pot and started banging on the pipes. The facet for the cold water broke off and water started spraying her in the face. She jumped and screamed. Lorraine tried to stop the water with her hands, but it was just making things worse. She quickly ran outside to turn off the water at the main valve. When she came around the corner of the house she slipped and fell, sliding about ten feet on her back, with her feet in the air. “I should have just stayed in bed and forgot about the stupid coffee.” Lorraine said out loud as she picked herself up and brushed off the snow. She finally got the water turned off and called the plumber. She was having a bowl of cereal when the phone rang. “Lorraine, where in the world are you? The storm has knocked out the power. The lights or register doesn’t work.” It was Sue calling from the shop. Lorraine felt very luc ky to have hired Sue. She was a tall blonde in her twenties. She grew up in Pine Vall e y and knew all of the town’s important people. Plus she had worked for the former owners.
“I’m sorry I’m late, but I’m having some problems here at home with the water.” Lorraine explained. “You didn’t try to undo the water pipes again did you? Sue laughed. “I told you not to bang on the pipes. Did they break?” “ Never mind. I’ll be right there, just keep the shop closed until I get there.” Lorraine laughed, as she hurried to get dressed. The town was starting to become alive when Lorraine pulled into her parking space in front of the shop. Jim Harris, the owner of the newspaper, waved as she was getting out of the truck. “Good morning, looks like we had a good one last night. The power company says everything will be back on within a couple of hours.” Jim smiled, as he approached Lorraine. ” Is e verything okay over at your place? Did you have trouble with those water pipes again?” Jim asked, as he started to open the door of the shop for Lorraine. Have you been talking to Sue?” She laughed. “I have everything under control.” Lorraine met Jim a few days after she opened the shop. He came over to welcome her to town. Lorraine thought he was a hand-man because he was dressed in old dirty jeans and a tee-shirt. She asked him if he needed some work, because she needed shelves and some racks built. Sue informed her that he owed the newspaper. She also explained to Lorraine that his mother and brother had been in a car accident several years ago and the mother did n’t live through the accident . The brother was now in a wheelchair. “You got time for a cup of coffee before work, since the power won’t be back on for a couple of hours.” Jim leaned forward and asked. “I noticed we got in a lot of skiers this morning, so the coffee shop has been really busy this morning.” Sure, I certainly could use a cup of coffee since I didn’t have any at home this morning.” She answered as they walked toward the coffee shop. The coffee shop was very crowded with the town’s people and the tourist s who was there to ski. They found a table in a corner and sat down. They were talking about how busy the town was this time of year when Lorraine felt a tap on her shoulder. She turned and almost fainted. It was Doug, her ex-husband, standing next to the table. “I thought maybe you would consider being my guide. That is, if you have time for an old