It’s 27 F outside, and the whole world is glittering with frost as I bundle up and haul three already rambunctious dogs aside before dawn. Still in my pjs, wrapped in Don’s coat and a hat and scarf I made myself, I stomp my feet and grumble softly as they take their sweet time sniffing at each and every trail made by squirrels and foxes and mice, with no pity at all for the freezing human at the end of the puppy’s leash. Back inside, a fire is already crackling cheerfully, a little pat on the back for my fumbling with the logs before we went out, and once the dogs are released back into the house like wild animals being herded a pen, I head to the stove to put together some eggs with salsa and grits with cheese for breakfast, just as D comes down the stairs and drops onto a stool in the little kitchen eat in area.
And now… now he’s off to work, the dishes are in the sink and I’m on the couch under a little polar bear blanket my G-Ma B gave me, in front of a fire that needs to be stoked back up. Today my new work boots get here, and outside 6.73 acres of land neglected for years waits to take me on, ready to be brought back with sweat and tears to the productive, fertile homestead it was meant to be, ready to try to break my back. Inside is about the same, not a single bathroom is even fully functional, sub floors are rotten and wiring needs to be re-run. Ancient, crunchy, and soiled carpet needs to be ripped out, tile needs to be laid, chimneys lack caps and mystery smells so far defy explanation. Even furniture is lacking, just getting dressed in the morning requires trips to both floors and the basement, like an early morning Stairmaster routine nobody wants.
But… right now? Hazel, the bassadore puppy, snuggles under the blanket with me, 8 months old and sleeping as hard as she plays. Abbie, the yellow Labrador as loyal as she is pudgy snores loudly under my foot rest in front of the couch. Leaka, the German Shepherd, sprawls out in front of the fire, her arthritic, 11 year old bones soaking up the warmth with a contended sigh. And the 38 year old woman still in her pjs dreams of chickens and plans a new coop, lazily sketching out her plans for the herb garden and mulling over where to plant the peas. We are all just where we want to be.
Back in a bit, the hearth needs another log. I love winter.