In the early morning hours

Soon after I arise in the morning, I usually bundle up to head out to the bathroom. Yes – out – to the bathroom, as in outdoors to the outhouse. When it’s in the single digits or below, I wear my quilted coveralls, down vest, jacket, alpaca wool hat with earflaps, mittens, and occasionally even a scarf. Some mornings this seems like a chore. Doesn’t the modern innovation – indoor bathrooms – make life just so much easier!?! Yes, I suppose they do, but easier is not always better.

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As soon as I am out the door into the dark morning, I inhale the fresh air and glance up at fading stars in the west and barely lit pink clouds in the east. At these moments I feel truly grateful to be right where I am. On a few mornings, I’ve even caught sight of a shooting star, and heard a pair of great horned owls greeting the day as I stroll to the bathroom. There is nothing quite as special as witnessing this magic in the quiet early hours of the morning. Fresh from the dreamworld, these moments close to nature keep me grounded and prevent me from rushing headlong into the to-do list of the day.

On my way back to the house, I visit the chicken coop. The girls are always up and chattering away. If it’s been extremely cold overnight, I’ll bring their water inside to deice it by the fire. Most mornings, I simply fill their food hopper, and collect the first eggs of the day. One – maybe two – of the chickens have developed the nasty habit of breaking and eating eggs. If I knew which one I would wring her neck, literally. But alas I have not yet caught her in action so we lose one to two eggs a day to this barbaric thief. When I collect the first eggs really early in the morning, I am one step ahead of her in the game.

Back in the house, my layers come off one by one in front of the crackling fire. I lay the fresh eggs on the counter, warm up my cup of coffee, and give thanks for our cozy cabin. I really couldn’t ask for more.

Monday’s Thankful

IMG_2402When I get out of bed in the dark hours of early morning, I head straight to our wood-burning stove. Barely awake, I stoke the fire, adding a log or more kindling, and opening up the damper. Next, I make coffee. When both tasks are complete, I stand in a reverie in front of the stove. I take my first sips of coffee and slowly wake up while basking in the warmth of the fire. It is truly the most marvelous way to start a winter’s day. So today as the days become shorter and colder, I am thankful for fire.

I love the whole process of gathering wood for the stove – from chopping to splitting and stacking it in neat piles on our porch. We often do this on crisp fall and mid-winter days when it feels good to get outside and work up a sweat. On Saturday, we brought home a truck-load of firewood in preparation for the coming cold front. IMG_3840I feel a deep sense of satisfaction when I walk by the wall of wood adjacent to our door. Let the snow begin – I am ready to cozy up by the fire!

If you missed the introduction to my week of thankfuls, you can read it below or here https://couleecreekranch.com/reflections/