Every day when I awake, all I can think about is coffee. Then when I take that first rich sip, I wonder about the people who don't like coffee, and I pity them. What would motivate someone to get out of bed in the morning if they didn't have that first cup of coffee to look forward to? Oh, I know, most people have to get up and go to work and that's enough motivation, but without coffee it just seems like it would be very difficult.
We had a sleet-snow mix Saturday, not enough to turn the ground solid white, but enough that we were afraid to get out and about yesterday in our rear-wheel-drive Mercury. Cliff intends to put the snow tires on soon, and then we won't be so helpless. We've put off doing it this year because last winter they were on the car the whole season for nothing.
I used to dread January and February because those months seemed to drag on endlessly. The weather can be so frigid this time of year that anything done outside seems difficult, and there's all that bundling I have to do every time I step out out the door. The dread of winter is gone now: life goes by so fast these days that winter whizzes by as rapidly as the rest of the year. I find myself asking time to slow down, even in January.
We take our daily walks, even if it's zero or below, unless there's a stiff wind blowing. We do attempt to not breath through our mouths, or else we cover our mouths, when it's that cold. Long ago I read somewhere that it isn't good to breathe super-cold air directly into the lungs, so whether it's true or not, we try to heed that advice. Of course, theoretically Cliff isn't supposed to be outside when it's that cold, or when it's above 85 in summer. I guess extreme cold or heat places a load on a compromised heart. However, there are some things Cliff is going to do no matter what. I'm sure it helps that walking is an everyday activity for him. I have to say, our walk in winter does us more good than at any other time: in summer we are both outside a lot, tending the yard and garden. In winter, it's easy to stay inside and vegetate, surfing the 'Net or reading, or watching TV. It's good to have something that forces us out the door; on days when we probably would skip our walk, Iris pesters us and insists we get moving. Toward the end of our daily stroll as we're heading to the house, we always agree that we feel better for the activity. Of course we're also glad to have it behind us for the day. Bundle up and get outside, folks! It will brighten your day.
I haven't mentioned the house next door lately. The new owners are there every day, working like crazy. They have done a lot of hauling off junk and tearing down sheds, and now they are working inside the house. It's certain that they intend to live there, because they've hooked up electricity. When I go outside with a flashlight at 5 A.M. to tend to the cattle (and cats), it is rather nice to look in that direction and see a light on, although they aren't living there yet.
I haven't met them, and have decided not to force that issue; we'll let it happen naturally, for good or bad. They are over there, we're here. I'm fine with that. I would rather have had someone tear the monstrosity down, but it will be nice to have people there who will tend to their yard and fences. I'm sure these folks will, because they have done so much already. Who knows, when the time comes for us to sell this place, they may be the ones to buy it. Life's funny like that, and I have seen stranger things happen. Throughout my life I have watched things fall naturally into place, as though Someone were orchestrating the whole thing to make it work out for my benefit.
On a final note, I am still getting my Sunday edition of the Kansas City Star, and it's been over a year. Nobody else on our road gets the Star: The paper guy throws my paper, then backs up, turns around, and heads to the highway. I get to read Gusewelle's column in print, every week. I enjoy looking at the ads, too, seeing what's on sale at various stores. It's just one more of those little freebies life throws my way on a regular basis. I'm grateful.