Snuggled in my covers in between sleep and awake, I try to identify the sounds. Rain? Whatever. It’s not even eight-o-clock! I burrow deeper under the down comforter and reached for sleep only to be roused not more than twenty minutes later by gravel being thrown at my window.
Wait, gravel? What the hell?
Not gravel. Ice pellets. I pull the pillow up over my head. Doesn't matter. I can still hear old man winter whistling a discordant tune through the windows while scraping his fingers through the last of the leaves on the oak trees. His nasty little sprites, armed with machine guns, are shooting the side the house and windows reminding me that I forgot to lower the storm windows. Again.
Arrgh! I’m cursed this morning. So much for sleeping in.
I grumble as I pull on jeans and heavy socks and rummaged through my winter drawer for my Packers sweatshirt, which I drag over my thermal tee shirt. At least I was warming up. I forgot to turn on the heat the night before so the house was cold. Who thinks about turning on the heat when it’s sunny, warm, and 63 degrees? God bless central heat and coffee. J
I watch the horses through the window as they stomp their feet and blow fog sculptures. They’re waiting for hay. Funny how they know it’s the weather for hay and grain. Yesterday they watched as I offloaded bales of hay with mild interest but went back to grazing. Of course I was sweating like a pig yesterday in shirtsleeves as I worked insulating pipes, leveling and filling the water troughs, unloading the grain and dog food.
No sunshine this morning, just a whistling north wind, dirty cotton clouds and piles of white pellets.
I’m prevaricating. It’s frickin’ cold out there. The temps are still falling. I really don’t want to go outside but my babies are waiting for me. …fresh hay has to be put into the cat’s sleeping boxes and Rex’s new doghouse. We did a pretty good job with that despite not having a floor. Rex hates a floor in his doghouse. He’d rather dig a burrow in the dirt. Still needs a good layer of hay for insulation.
I set the cup down and reach for my wool scarf and gloves and pull on my coat. I stomp my feet into boots I haven’t worn since last February, grab my leather work gloves and head out the door.
The horses rumble good morning and Sassy, me darlin’ is in fine form this morning arching her gorgeous neck, prancing along the fence line as I head to storage area of the work garage. Sweet Tea is her usual bitchy self when food is brought out. Mine, all mine. Doctari is dignified and patient. Sassy knows I’ll feed her last and she lays her head on my shoulder and wuffles the edge of my stocking cap. I know what’s coming. She hates my winter caps. 5, 4, 3, 2, there it goes…plop and catches on the fence and she buries her nose in my hair. Damn horse. She makes me laugh and I soak up her love and affection. With a final hug I give her portion of hay.
I work my way through my list. At least it’s a relatively short list. My pride of cats bears me company as I work. A welcome comfort.
My final chore is Rex. The pride follow me his area. They don’t mind Rex. He’s gentle with them. He sits close at hand, tongue lolling to the side, as he watches while I unload the hay and spread it in his nest. We have a pact you see. He sits patiently, sort of, while I lay the hay. I step back and gesture to the hay and he’s in the house pawing the hay this way and that until he has it arranged just so. Is he done? No. Next, he uses his nose and fine tunes the arrangement, lays down and wiggles around, then gets up again and noses it some more. I stand by grinning while he works. Several of the cats drape themselves along the roof of his house as he works and Jag is on the fence post by my shoulder. Sassy is finished eating and comes over to watch. I lean against her chest as she drops her head on my shoulder. She has such a soft nose. Rex bounds out of the house and back to me wagging his body in thanks. Sassy snorts but doesn't move away. Of course, it must be Pride approved. Couple of the cats jump down and look inside. Rex allows it.
I didn't want to come outside this morning. Cursed because I had to crawl out of a warm bed. It’s wicked cold. I’m already tired. My nose and the tips of my ears are about frozen solid. So why am I still standing here?
It’s the blessing, you see.
Love is a blessing. There is richness in love given and received. It doesn't matter whether that love is from two legged or four legged personalities. It’s something precious.
I close my eyes and give thanks for the blessings in my life. For the life I have today. For the love that surrounds me.
Something soft brushes my face. I open my eyes to big fluffy snowflakes softly falling around me. I feel like I’m floating in the snowfall. It’s beautiful. There is a hush to falling snow. A feeling of benediction. It’s magical.
I’m loved and life is good.