I woke up in the dark house cold and unraveled myself from the quilts and coverlets to a 50-degree house, in need of coffee and some primal warmth. I got dressed in my usual farm clothes and headed outside. Gibson was with me, walking at my flanks in lantern light as we made our way to the side of the house with the wood pile, axes, and splitting stumps. I went to work, slicing some kindling and progressively larger pieces of wood up towards good sized burning logs. Gibson he watched from a lie down, eyeing Defiance as it stared at him from the back of the pickup truck. Defiance was still in bed. Not even Merlin yelled for his breakfast yet, and they would wait until a fire was lit and coffee was set on the stove. I have no problem feeding them before I have my oatmeal and coffee, but I'm heading into chores without the promise of warmth and caffeine upon my prodigal return.
Chores go by in a liquid series of motions. When you do the same thing every day you learn tricks, little time saving methods that make work flow like music. I hit the well first and grab a bucket of water, putting an empty bucket in its place to fill while I tended to the pigs. Arriving in the barn I set down the bucket to squeals and rioting as I grab their big black pan and fill it with morning ration. Gibson is locked on them, watching with pricked ears and wagging tail. Before I pour them clean water into their currently-dirty drinking bucket I fill the rabbit's water fonts and feed them as well. I look over the rabbits for any sort of sores or pain and give them a bit of clean bedding. I decide to mate a pair today for fresh winter farm meat. Bunnies in a few months will be welcomed.
With the pigs fed and the first light coming I can see the smoke coming from the chimney. It's one happy sight. There are still horses to water and hay, sheep to do the same to, too. I have the chickens to load with crumble layer feed and somehow I fight that desire to run inside for a sip of pumpkin coffee. Everyone is seen to right before I head inside. Gibson never wants to come indoors. Even food is a useless bribe. Food isn't as important as adventure to a young Border Collie.
Eventually I make my way here, and the coffee is poured. The fire warm and the music from the computer's radio station is nice. Acoustic guitars and male voices ring out as the weak sun tries to explain itself through the gray morning. Rain is the word of the day. Before then will be more firewood chopped, more chores, possibly a soggy ride on a black horse. Who knows... The day is just getting started and the coffee is hot...