On a morning like this, when it's -6 degrees, I do grumble inside a bit about having to go out to take care of my neighbor's animals.
By now I should know better. I'm always so much more as I'm pulling out of that driveway than I was when I arrived.
It's impossible not to notice and be warmed by it all:
*the little pieces of my friend's unique personality waiting inside the doors of his home
*the running shoes lined against the wall, the wood carved statue he moved from the front porch to the dinning room after I photographed it in silhouette, the piece of bark that looks just like a crow (I had to double check)...
*all six dogs waiting in the bedroom behind the gate that I know someone I love put up last night when they stopped over to tuck them all in
*five poolies running toward the back door to eat some fresh snow and go potty in the yard
*returning to the kitchen for some snuggle time with Chico until the others are ready to come back in
*the way they all look up at me and wait for their little treats
*saying "have a good morning!" to them, and "BEHAVE!" as I close them in to head out to the barn
*the way the snow glistens in rainbow colored glitter under sunlight - God's incredible artwork
*how I anticipate that sweet chicken greeting as I slam my shoulder into the door to open it
*that crazy noise they make - I can never help but smile and imitate it every time I'm with them
*the young rooster gives me his own little developing "good morning", and I'm glad he thinks so, too
*so close, they don't worry one bit that I'll step on them...
*I watch carefully and walk as slow as I can, apologizing when I feel a little toe under my shoe
*they will stick their heads in those feed bowls the second one grain hits the bottom- and then it's feed pouring all over their heads, and more smiles from me... goofs
*I can hear them, those sweet goats mah-ah-ah-ah-ing for me in the next room
*the smell of their sweet treat
*today, a chicken actually jumped in the bin when I opened it - they've been "cooped" for two days in this cold and they're getting a little wild
*petting the once skittish little cream colored female goat- I knew it wouldn't take long for her to get comfortable with humans living with her Daddy, Jeff, who likes to take the chickens in the house now and then
*checking the warm heaters that grumpy Kevin lovingly installed in each room yesterday- because of which the water isn't frozen today- whoo-hooo!
*whoever put that stanley hammer next to the door in the pole barn is my hero
*closing the door I yell, "have a good day sweet babies! I love you!" -wondering how many people would think it's insane
*I mean it though- I love them
*I love knowing the people I'm collaborating with to take care of this place -they are family to me
*and Jeff, running in Africa, who brings us all here, together, for him
*the quick drive back to my house with the sun on my back reminds me just how easy it is, and how close we are, to love