Outside, it's overcast and foggy. Looking out across the cow pasture, it's hard to tell where the snow ends and the sky begins. The trees are lightly sugar-frosted with ice; the dead brown leaves still clinging to the red oak in the garden stir from time to time, as a vagrant puff of a breeze wanders through. We could use a few inches of cosmetic snowfall. After a winter of letting the dog have the run of the back yard, it looks like we've been keeping a quarter horse out there.
I savor the sacred morning stillness.
Today is Super Bowl Sunday, and —
Pyro Puppy interrupts. She comes over and thrusts her head under my hand. Rosenberg complains that his cats won't let him write. He should try ignoring a 60-lb. Labrador mix who's insistent on getting attention. I put down my notebook and respond. "What do you want, girl? Outside?" No, can't be, she was just out there. "Food?" No, not that either, I just fed her and rinsed and refilled her water bowl. "Play?" No, strangely enough, not that either. She continues to be urgently insistent that I get up and follow her, so I do, with her stopping and turning around every few feet to make sure that I'm still following. "Milk bone?"
No, she leads me down the hallway, and it turns out that the Doggie Crisis is that the bedroom door is shut. Not having opposable thumbs, she needs someone to turn the doorknob.
I do, and she pushes the door open and bounds into the bedroom, to leap up on the bed and thrust her cold, wet, doggy nose into my wife's face. It's morning! the dog communicates in a wiggle and a whine. Time for Mommy to get up!
Mommy seems none too happy about it. Me, I've already been up for an hour and a half and outside twice, so I can only laugh about it.
I laugh very, very quietly.
Meanwhile, out in the backyard, the world is coming alive. The chickadees and dark-eyed juncos are flocking to the feeders. I hear a blue jay call, but can't spot it. We've had three different species of woodpeckers on the suet blocks this week, but none have showed up yet this morning, and the gray squirrels are terribly busy, scooping up cheekfuls of feed corn and then scampering off, to bury their treasures in the snow. I guess they think they're saving the corn for later, although they never seem to find it again before it either rots or sprouts.
That reminds me. I need to clean the refrigerator today...