Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Winter Pastoral 2014

It's 11:52 PM on Monday, January 27, 2014 and here we are in the bleak mid-winter.  I'm learning to celebrate the new winter rituals, especially in the wee hours of the night.

Usually in Rhode Island we'd see winter evening temperatures plummet into the teens and consider ourselves up to the challenge.  Tonight we're entertaining the same, but the wind proves more formidable driving us down to a "real feel" of -7 degrees (a veritable heat wave in other parts of the country).

Our rituals are heartier now.  Two coats for me, two coats for Dickens.  Gloves for me, paw wax for him. An over-sized hood for me, he tucks his ears under his coat collar (if he doesn't wear the coat with a hood).  Short walks just to get the job done, but the cold wind still stings my cheeks.

Once we're in for the night, I check on my feral foster cat, Amelia Luna Diva.  She has two crates, a soft bed (that she hates) and a spot on an old jacket next to the baseboard heat (that she loves).  I give her two treats (that she loves), fresh water, and inspect the litter box.  She's good to go.

Next I check the man of the house (OK, the pup of the house).  He's given a handful of kibble to keep the acid reflux in check until morning.  I top off his water dish.  He spins around to land on his fleece blanket on the recliner.  In 10 seconds he's out like a light.

After the house quiets, I climb into my pajamas and prepare for bed.  I shuffle off to the kitchen to make some lemon balm tea loaded with honey.  While I'm there, I set the faucet to drip and paddle off to the bathroom to do the same to that faucet.  I settle in my recliner with my knitting or my book .

It is as quiet as it can be.  I hear dog and cat breathing accompanied by the steady -drip-drip-drip from the faucets.  Dickens wears an expression of inner contentment as does Amelia as she snuggles next to the baseboard.  The wind still howls outside, but this indoor winter tableau warms me from the inside out.

Good night!


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