As usual, I am up before the chickens….before the sun. In the kitchen, I shiver as I reach for the espresso pot. Brrr!. This house is cold! It leaks like a sieve. Sigh. Just one more issue we will have to address at some point.
The sound of my wind chimes break the pre-dawn silence as a fiercely strong arctic wind whips them into a frenzy. One chime is pleasantly melodic while another–the one I brought back from my mother’s garden in Carefree–reminds me of a cow strolling in green pastures, on a hillside in Germany, perhaps. And then there is the one with a tin-can clank and another with a sound reminiscent of the old west, when a wagon train’s comical old cook would call folks to supper around the campfire using a triangle dinner bell.
As I set the pot on the burner The Poodle walks into the kitchen. Usually, while I get coffee–and for some time afterwards– he stays in his bed, curled in a tight ball, slumbering away oblivious to even neighborhood dogs barking. Under my lovely down comforter is where I’d like to be too; alas my wretched internal clock will not allow that indulgence.
The Poodle continues to stand in the doorway looking at me intently. It’s too early for kibble. Could he want his handsome sweater off?
“Oh no, no, no!” I croak, my voice still gravely from sleep. He can’t possibly want to go out now! Going out this early in the morning was not a problem in Southern California (for obvious reasons!) nor even middle-earth-land Alabama; we had a fenced yard.
“It’s not even 5:30,” I tell him. “The wind is fierce. And, I might add, my espresso is brewing.”
I look out the kitchen window and see snow. Relief washes over me. The “beast of the east” snow cyclone forecasted for the northeast has effectively missed us. Nothing major has accumulated; We’ve only got enough of a dusting to cause all sorts of havoc in schedules. Still, I murmur to the only other ears in the room. “There is snow my poodle love which would be another reason to hold on, if you can.”
My sister will be over-the-moon delighted when she wakes to see the white stuff. My nephew will be doing cartwheels because of snow-day school cancellation. Moi? Torn. Yes, there is an aesthetic pleasure in a snow-covered landscape where a blanket of white makes even junky yards beautiful. But the bitter cold and driving headaches damper my enthusiasm considerably. Not to mention having to don proper attire to actually walk The Poodle first thing in the morning since our back yard is not fenced-in. The Poodle would be off in a New York minute to chase those very squirrels that tease him into fevered barking most days of the week. I suppose blinds to the back deck door would significantly reduce that problem!
The sound of espresso bubbling jars me back to the present. The Poodle continues to stare at me, still as a statue…patient. My heart melts. He looks so handsome in his Pendleton sweater jacket…..
“Please, please let me have my coffee before we head out into this arctic blast,” I implore.
As if he understands, he heads straight for his bed which is near the kitchen table.
How lucky am I?
I pour my cup of coffee and take a seat on the floor next to my four-legged love. I gasp in mild surprise: Wow! This tile floor is cold! My poodle love in his smart little sweater is once again curled in his bed and seems fast asleep. “You are the best “puppy” in the whole world! Thank-you for cutting me a break so early this morning,” I say as I give him a pat.
As the wind howls outside I’ve got time now to enjoy my coffee and a page or two of my current read: The Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown. It’s a story about nine Americans and their quest for the Olympic gold medal at the Berlin Olympics….made all the more heart-thumping because these men–as one review puts it– will literally upstage one of the worlds most notorious monsters, Adolf Hitler. I’m only twenty-one pages in and it’s a riveting read.
I’ve got a million things I could be doing; taking down and storing all the Christmas paraphernalia for starters. But a day like this seems to scream for endless cups of strong tea and curling up with a good book with a Poodle at my side.
Bliss on a frigid winter day. ❤