I could have been my grandmother. Or even my great-grandmother. I could have been walking home from trading fresh milk for fresh eggs at a friend's house on a winter's evening a hundred years ago.
It was cold. I was walking fast and the breeze froze my nose and stung the tips of my ears. I was anxious to get home, to be surrounded by warm air, cozy lighting and happy, glowing faces. Outside it was bitter cold, so I walked on quickly.
I could hear dogs barking here and there throughout the neighborhood. I knew they would bark again as I passed their homes. I always try to be ready, to keep myself from jumping, startled by the unexpected outburst from the other side of a fence.
A scent wafts past me. It overwhelms me. I breathe it in more deeply, further freezing my nose. It smells like home and family and holidays. It is warmth and comfort and safety. It is the smell of wood and coal burning furnaces coming from the houses I walk past.
Two boys are having a snowball fight. They are running and laughing with rosy cheeks and steaming breath.
The snow crunches under my feet. It sparkles beneath me, around me. Surrounded by ice, the smell from the homes fills me with warmth.
When I reach my own home I realize I have been ignoring the cars parked in driveways and the satellite dishes on the sides of the houses. It was just me, just now. 2012, not 1912. Just keeping a resolution, not trading a basket of dairy products. But I loved being transported.