The early rays of sunlight tickle me into wakefulness as it filters through trees outside. I throw off the heavy quilts that snuggled me with such warmth against the chill of the night. My clock at my bedside pegs the inside temperature at 52 degrees. A bit nippier than I'm used to in April, but this is the mountains not the coast. I don my flannel shirt over my pajamas and walk out of my bedroom.
Whitie, the rooster, crows as I enter the living room. He's standing in front of the picture window looking in. "Good morning to you too!" He cocks his head to one side and blinks as if concentrating on every word I say. He's called Whitie because of three white feathers at the top of his tail.
First things first. A fire needed to be made in our wood stove heater to chase the chill out of the house. I lay the intricate pattern of paper, and small kindling twigs into the old coal burning stove. Then weave larger and larger pieces until I have a goodly stack of kindling for the initial bed of hot coals before putting the first split log in. There's a definite art form in building a fire. Too little of this or that, and you end up having to do it all over again because the hard wood just won't catch. In this old coal burner, it can be very tricky and finicky, but it works. It does tend to burn wood faster.
I do dislike having to re-lay the fire so I pour on the kindling. The fire catches with just one match. Wohoo! Success! A roaring blaze. My cheeks feel rosy with the warmth. I will have to walk the property for more kindling, or maybe Mel will when she goes out with the dogs, Nnyus and Herbie, later on down to the creek. Of course, the cats (Dervish, Devon Angel, and Logan) and chickens will follow her for a farm yard procession. She'll talk to each and every one along the way. There is no shortage of dead fall on our land. It has stayed abandoned that nature started to claim it back.
Now, the warmth of the fire fills the room as I type. I put a kettle of water on top of the heater for our morning tea. No sense in wasting the propane for heating the water. The water kettle starts to whistle as one of the hens cackle her announcement that she's laid an egg. I named her Henny Penny, of nursery story fame. She will always lay her egg behind the storm door on the front porch and absolutely refuse to use her nest box. No bother for me. It's closer than the coop. Every morning she'll wait for me to open the front door for extra wood. There is a wee bench that she perches on.
I hear the fire dying down in the stove. Soon the Spring sun will warm our side of the mountain. The light is already bathing and it's life sustaining warmth filters to earth through the trees. With a mug of English Breakfast tea, the morning routine begins. There's breakfast to prepare, bread to bake, and the evening meal to plan. I think I'll roast chicken breasts with new potatoes. I planted the transplant vegetable in the seed trays last week. I can almost taste those succulent veggies. But I'll have to wait for mother nature to do her thing first.
As I walk to my bedroom to change into my work clothes, I realize I'm overwhelmed by a sense of peace in my life. It's hard to believe I've only been here a couple of weeks. This simple lifestyle is what I've been craving for over half a century of living around the world and in the urban life. This choice is not for everyone, but it suits me. It's some mighty hard work even without disabilities. I've finally come home.