As she says, she has never been winter-camping before, at least not in a place farther from the city. It provoked happiness, maybe even amazement, based on the fact that upon setting out Houston was initially skeptical about the healing power of the natural world, and in turn found how revolutionary an extreme experience can be.
The boy was playing among the newly harvested golden vegetables. The experience she details is pretty extreme.
The man then considers killing the dog to use it as a source of warmth, but he is unable to use his frozen arms to take hold and kill the animal. In London's story, the dog has a personality of his own as if he were human. Most people would be thrilled at the prospect of a pill filling the void in their lives.
One quote in particular perfectly describes her healing journey through nature: "When everything in your life is uncertain, there's nothing quite like the clarity and precision of fresh snow and blue sky. Houston helped me to identify why I had never stumbled upon such an organic change before.
The sun rays were still shining brightly, casting shadows across a wide field full of green grass.