Lucy and I got up early today. I’ve got a full weekend ahead – a bridal shower to attend today, a night of cards with the Bayfield vacation friends this evening, and hosting a family birthday party for my mom tomorrow. And things need doing!
I used Lucy as my excuse to get my lazy bones out of bed early. Actually, I haven’t been all that lazy the past few days. I made myself start getting up an hour earlier and go back to the gym this week. As he was refilling the hand sanitizer and paper towel dispenser, the friendly maintenance guy asked, “Where’ve you been?”
I said, “Sleeping.”
He smiled and asked, “Where’s your friend?” He was referring to my workout buddy who hasn’t been seen at the gym in a while either.
I said, “She’s pregnant.” He laughed.
Wanting to keep up the momentum, I thought I’d start my busy weekend with a walk with Lucy. We went out when the sky was still dark, but I knew it would start turning as we walked. It was nineteen degrees, not as cold as last weekend, but still… I put on my UnderArmour leggings and shirt under some yoga pants and a sweatshirt. I forgot that Lucy has two speeds – run and stop, (run, stop, sniff… run, stop, sniff.) I’d underestimated the effectiveness of UnderArmour and soon I was sweating.
Luckily, Lucy began to lose her momentum after a couple of miles and slowed down just enough to allow me to take in the morning and appreciate things a bit. I love those moments of the morning, when the darkness is fading but just before the sky really lights up. The sky is a beautiful color. I just read something describing it as the color of blueberries. I wish I could remember what I read and give the author credit, but they were right. Blueberries.
There’s a farm in our neighborhood. I suppose at one time our whole neighborhood was the farm, before all of our homes were constructed. Now the farm seems slightly misplaced in the middle of all this suburbia, in spite of the fact that it was here first. When I look at the old, white barn, its paint peeling in places, I can almost see the streets and homes disappearing and imagine what it looked like, undisturbed years ago. It’s still a functioning farm, in some capacity at least, and the smell of farm animals was potent in the crisp winter air. A few blocks away, where I live, I notice those smells occasionally. There’s a row of homes directly adjacent to the farm. I imagine it’s an ever-present aroma for those homeowners. I wonder if they’ve grown used to it, just like I’ve become accustomed to the sound of the trains.
Lucy is fun to walk with. She’s like a child who can’t discover enough about the world around her. She stops and marvels at every bird that flies overhead. Her ears perk at the hooting of an owl. Her body freezes, her tail pointing as she sniffs and tries to discern ducks, geese, cats and various other creatures that have ventured into the tall grasses near the ponds and wooded areas.
Even as her energy is waning, Lucy’s legs move at a trot, her body nearly bouncing because she can’t wait to see what we’ll encounter next. She finds sticks on the ground and grabs them up quickly in her mouth, as if she’s found some treasure. She trots off again, her head held high, turning her neck momentarily to make sure I’ve noticed the prize clenched in her teeth. She quickly gets bored with carrying it and drops it a few yards later. She’s so cute, I can’t help but laugh.
Back in our own driveway, as she always does, Lucy recognizes that the walk has come to an end. She begins to resist. No matter how far we’ve gone, no matter how tired she may be, she does not want to go back home. There’s adventure to be had and she wants more! I have to convince her we’re going in the house and in a moment, she relents. Once we’re back inside, she admits that maybe I’m right. It is time to be back home again where it’s warm and all of her toys live.
“Oh. There’s the love seat I’m allowed to be on. I think I need a nap.”
See? That didn’t take long!