A splash of light from my iPhone guided me through the dark to my car last night. The wedding guests were long gone and only one light glowed in the winery Bistro behind me.
Pausing in a clearing, I gazed up at the stars crowded around a sliver of moon. My frosty breath rose to greet them, along with a regret of never learning the constellations beyond the Big and Little Dippers.
Frost coated the windshield of my car, although it wasn't even midnight. I dug my community college ID from my purse - it's good for scraping ice but not much else these days - and wished I had my gloves.
My headlights cut through the darkness on the winding road leading home through the hills. I seemed to be the only person out driving. Tom had left the porch lights on for me, a welcome sight, and Belle greeted me near the road, but inside, the house was silent; everyone was already snug in bed.
I turned off the lights and snuggled under the covers myself, not even thinking one thought about my poor plants, the aloe and bougainvillea I'd faithfully watered all summer, trying to help them survive the drought.
This morning I feared I'd find nothing but wilted, frozen leaves, but the aloe was still fresh and green, and fuchsia blossoms still dotted the bougainvillea. The rock wall where they're nestled must have retained enough afternoon sunshine to protect them through the cold night.
Max, on the other hand... that poor puppy can barely stand on his dysplasia-cursed elbow. I guess the cold gets to him like it gets to the rest of us feeling our age in our joints.
He was determined to join me and Belle on our morning walk, though. His face fell when I suggested he 'stay', so I said come on, then. He hopped along mostly on three legs, but his face shone, he was so eager and happy to hit the road.
Belle and I walked slow, following his pace for the most part. A few times he found a soft spot in the woods where he'd lie down and rest.
His appetite was down again this morning, too - I hand fed him a few pieces where I'd hidden his aspirin and he readily took it from my hand, as well as his glucosamine supplements, but otherwise had no interest. Belle seems to be on a sympathy hunger strike - her bowl is untouched and I refuse to hand feed her!
So the bowls are back on the kitchen counter. I'll try again later... maybe with a few pieces of cheese or some other goody in there. No more hand feeding, but I have no qualms against bribery.
Meanwhile, here it is a cold but sunshine-filled Monday and the week ahead is going to fly by, faster than usual, I believe. I'm going to be wearing a dozen different hats, trying hard to give each a fair share of my time without stressing over any of them too much, or spending hours hatless from indecision about which to wear next.
I'm grateful for each one and that's what I'm going to (try to) keep in mind.
I hope all of you have a beautiful, busy, fulfilling, love-filled and peaceful week!
(And if you have a minute, please say a little prayer for my Max. Thank you!)