This morning at the office was one of those moments. A couple of co-workers were chatting about the colder-than-usual morning. One said to another "Weren't you surprised when you walked outside this morning?! Hello Winter." And I realize how completely unsurprised I was. But had this been a morning back in Knoxville three years ago, I would've been shocked. Back before I planned my life around a garden and livestock, I let the weather happen to me. I didn't live a reactionary life towards it (unless you consider putting on a sweater reactionary.) But now I stalk weather.com and haunt weather.gov. I have a garden full of corn and pumpkins and sunflowers to keep going into October. Between the fear of early frost, and planning how much work I want to do outside at 5AM, I check the weather report all the time.
I knew for over a week we were going to have a frost advisory last night. So after work I did all the morning chores in advance. I carried and refilled all the water stations. I loaded fresh feed into everyone's bowls and feeders. I forked straw. I set things up. I did it so I'd have an easier and more comfortable morning. So come the dark blue light of 5:34AM I would only need a few flakes of hay under my left arm and a lantern in my right hand. Which is all I did need.
This morning I walked outside in a heavy fleece coat, a ridiculous fur musher's hat, and my father's old red-and-black plaid hunting jacket. I looked silly, but I was warm (and the sheep could care less how I'm dressed.) Work went quick and by the time I was back inside with the dogs the coffee was ready. I was never surprised for a second. Which comes with my wooly new territory, I guess.