Thursday, December 6, 2012
Cold Winter Mornings
You may wonder why both of us are crawling out from under warm quilts so early? Well, we figured no need to pay for downtown parking and there really isn't a safe place for Teri to stash a bike, so I do the drive and drop-off and then she walks the 2 or so miles home midday. It is working and it is temporary, but it is damn early.
There is, of course, an upside. I have been taking advantage of the early start to do a little work, do a few chores, and enjoy watching the street come alive while I sip my second cup of coffee. After two weeks, I'm getting into a bit of a routine...
After an hour or so of work on the computer, I notice the morning light prying its way through the curtains and head out into the cold garage to scoop a big bowl of cat food for the miscellaneous outdoor cats who clamber on our back deck. I refill the water the dish with clean water and fluff the various pillows and blanket beds. By that time, the chickens have realized that I'm out and about and they are clucking and pecking the wire walls of their little coop, anxious to be sprung free. With chicken feed scoop in hand, I tromp to the coop and unlock their door and they all three immediately stretch and march over the threshold (unless one of them happens to be already on the nest, which happens every couple days.) The chickens get fresh water too and I check the nest box to see if it needs a bit of a clean-out--replacing the soiled winter cedar chips with clean ones (summer=straw, winter=cedar). Lately, I've been feeling particularly farmer-ish on the cold, wet mornings so I head over to the compost bins--looking like a funky Mother Goose with a trio of chickens trailing--and after I turn a few pitchforks over to mix in all the garden debris and newly-added fall leaves, I pull out a couple warm scoops and dump them on a nearby garden bed--the chickens consider this the poultry-equivalent to steaming oatmeal with raisins and honey and they dig in searching for unsuspecting grublet morsels.
Usually, around this time, our neighbor has come out in his saucy knee-length blue bathrobe to tend to his little chicken flock. We share a 7:30 am wave across the garden fence as he bends over not-so-delicately to free his hens from their little cage. Seriously, talking chicken farming only here.
Climbing up onto the back porch and sliding open the glass doors, when I step back into the kitchen, I feel a bit of self-righteous satisfaction. Out the front picture window, the yellow school bus is stopping for kid pick-ups and windows and shades are being pulled up and open up and down our street. Maybe it is time for breakfast or maybe I should sit down and write and address a few more of the big stack of Christmas cards temporarily living on the dining room table? It might be time to heat up my chilly coffee mug in the microwave (unless the cup is still sitting in there from an earlier heat-up) or it might be time to think about the house-wide tidy before getting ready to head off to work myself.
All in all, the morning chores and productive fiddling haven't been too bad--I just wish we didn't have to get up so damn early to make it all happen!