I promised myself I was going right back to bed. After I fed the birds and squirrels. Birders are a die-hard lot.
But first I needed to make a path with the ice melting stuff which we call rock salt even though it is no longer really salt.
I go to the mudroom leading outside.
Birdseed and corn. No rock salt.
Another story altogether.
One would have to live in this house for twenty-eight years with this man to understand why it is another story. Promise, it is.
So I get a bucket of wild birdseed and don my clogs. I figure I will stand outside the back door and throw seeds in all directions. I won’t walk anywhere. Don’t want to fall. If I did fall, the problem would be I would not have my cell phone to call for help if I broke something. And the reason I would not have my cell if I were broken-hipped on the drive, besides it being inside the house, is this. I don’t have any special place to put my cell phone.
No… not completely naked in an ice storm. I have on clogs. And a sleep hoodie. Grey. Comes to well above the knees. I’m not going anywhere after all, being there’s ice everywhere.
But I take a step and my clog sinks a bit into the crusted icy slush.
There is traction.
So I venture forth into the dawn wearing a grey hoodie that goes to there – and we know where there ends, don’t we? And clogs.
Really, my hair concerns me more. I could pull the hoodie up.
The winter world I live in is a fishbowl of sorts. Being at a rather eclectic lake community where summer people are seldom around, even at the Christmas holidays, there is privacy that I appreciate. A stillness of the lake where geese voices trail through the grey dawn as pattering slush settles about me and on me. Bringing me back to my wild bird feeding.
I feed them on the table by my office windows. I feed them on the birdfeeder along the fence. I feed them on the ladder feeder outside the dining window. I feed them at the bench next to the sleeping porch.
If… no, not if… when….. when someone drove by, I did not notice them. I was crunching into the slush very carefully. One foot in front of the other. Remembering the time I crushed my left knee from one false move, one moment not focusing. I was listening to the geese fuss over at the lake where they keep vigil on an open feeding area they melted.
Oooi, and I was worried about the neighbors.
The person who drove by, well, he noticed me. I know because word gets around and back within two hours. The person who drove by told the guy he stopped to talk to who told the guy who told the waitress at the corner restaurant four miles away who reassured me over my latte that everyone really did think I was feeding the birds, no matter what they were saying or how they qualified my insanity.
‘Yes, it was her, wandering around the yard at dawn half naked… the crazy eccentric writer with the cottage full of skunks.”
But they are wrong, I mourned over my latte. At present, I only have two skunks.