4:30 to 4:45 am. It’s still dark but not pitch black. The house is cool, usually less than 55 degrees. Not a fan of the cold, I pull comfy clothes on quickly and make my way to the living room. Open the damper to let air into the wood stove, open the door to wake the coals up with the poker, and leave the door open an inch. Early morning is the only time I’ll tend the fire; it’s warm enough outside this time of year to keep the house from cooling down quickly.
Off to the kitchen to make coffee. The water coming out of the well is 44 degrees so I fill a gallon pitcher while the hot water makes its way from the on-demand heater in the cellar to the tap. Coffee grounds go to the composting worms or into a container to be used in the garden.
I’m done side stepping and stumbling over the dogstacle course that has made its way to the kitchen to be pet, and let them out. I step out to the back porch in my wool-socked feet, no jacket, and check the temperature. Now early April, I can stand out there for a few minutes instead of dashing back to the kitchen door. The birds start singing before sunrise now. I take a deep breath and spend a moment being grateful to have survived winter. This year “survive” seems to be an appropriate word; we had five more weeks of winter than usual.
The roosters rose with the “sun,” which is really the kitchen light, and are crowing. There are no turkeys gobbling within hearing range; that’s disappointing. Back into the house I go, the old dogs on my heels. Ava is on patrol around two and a half acres she calls hers. She sniffs around the hen house to be sure nothing has bothered the birds during the night.
The gallon of cold water goes into a pan on the wood stove to keep moisture in the air. I poke at the coals again to spread them out a bit, now red and ready to go. Add a few pieces of cedar kindling and close the door, leaving the damper open. I feed the goldfish, the dogs, and the cats while the coffee perks.
Dishes from the counter and sink get washed or moved to the dish washer while the coffee does its thing. Dishes done, I return to the wood stove to load it. The fire roar will soon, taking the chill out of the house and making it cozy and warm. Ava woofs at the door, ready to come in. If I’m not there to open the door soon enough her woof turns to a demanding bark.
I pour a cup of coffee, have a seat at my desk, and write a few words in my journal or get to work on “the book.” “The book” gets most of my writing effort these days, and the blog gets neglected. Winter and surgery put a damper on doing things worthy of writing about.