It’s Still All About Keeping Warm

Annie raced out the dog door to her bowl early this morning for a drink. To her surprise, her tongue touched ice. She licked and licked, but never hit water. Luckily she has a defrosted water bowl inside.

At 6 a.m., when the restless dog woke me up, the moon was shining so bright I could see everything. Stars dotted the black sky. The deck and lawn sparkled with ice as Annie skated across to do her business.  Then, happy and ready for a new day, Annie zoomed back to me, tail wagging. I could read her mind: Give me some food and then let’s play. Nope, I replied, it’s still dark. We’re going back to bed, where it’s toasty. I still have dreams to be dreamed.

In these December days, life is about keeping warm. I go through more than a 40-pound bag of wood pellets a day keeping the pellet stove burning. I keep space heaters and baseboard heaters going in the occupied rooms. I sleep under an electric blanket. I’m wearing my flannel nightgown at night and my long underwear during the day. Annie sleeps on the old couch by the pellet stove. In her crate in the laundry room, she’d turn into a pupsicle.

In the mornings it’s in the 30s outside, the 40s in the laundry room, which has no ceiling, just a bare roof, and it’s right around 50 in the den. The living room has made it to the low 60s, but the pellet stove is empty again, and the temperature is dropping. 

I know it gets a lot colder elsewhere, but for this California-born Oregonian, it’s cold! It’s also oddly dry. We haven’t had real rain for a couple weeks. If precipitation comes now, we could have a white Christmas. Think it can’t snow at the beach? Oh yes it can. The photo is from a previous December when Annie experienced her first snow. She doesn’t look happy.

Keep warm, friends.

Author: Sue Fagalde Lick

writer/musician California native, Oregon resident Author of Freelancing for Newspapers, Shoes Full of Sand, Azorean Dreams, Stories Grandma Never Told, Childless by Marriage, and Up Beaver Creek. Most recently, I have published two poetry chapbooks, Gravel Road Ahead and The Widow at the Piano: Confessions of a Distracted Catholic. I have published hundreds of articles, plus essays, fiction and poetry. I'm also pretty good at singing and playing guitar and piano.

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