"Honey, we're HOome!"
I got off duty at 6 am yesterday and headed for the house in the dark. It seems one of the puppies, probably Cassie, chewed up some wiring in the truck while on the drop chain at the front bumper. I'll need to crawl under the rig and reconnect it for the right front running light to operate properly. The 'moose lights', powerful spot lamps used to illuminate the shoulders of the road on long, isolated dark stretches of highway also aren't functioning properly. The come on just fine but don't show down when I switch from high to low beam. It's not a big deal and I don't think anything else was affected.
Once home I put the puppies in a large airline crate in my bedroom and crashed for a few hours. Then I booted the puppies out into the big pen attached to the garage and dashed about the valley to pick up my dogs from the two kennels where they've been boarding. By 5:30 I had all 13 dogs home, fed and happily settled back into our own home yard. I brought the puppies back inside to sleep in the house.
Today started with a leap from bed and dash about trying to get the puppies outside to pee. Only 1 of the three actually made it out the door in time, so I had a couple of puddles to clean up before doing anything else. I was awake early, read Emails while the coffee brewed, read the daily newspaper on line during the first cup, caught up on my favorite message boards, forums and blogs during the second cup and then dragged on three layers of clothing to go out and feed puppies, water dogs, medicate my hypothyroid girl, scoop the yard, perform "attitude checks" and dispense pets, pats and hugs before cooking and eating my own breakfast. I find the routine to be very rewarding. It is a connection to my childhood, when days started off with animal care chores before breakfast and a mad dash to be in school at the proper time.
Basically we are falling very easily into our winter routine. It should be easy, given that we practice it so frequently. When I think on it, I find the routine comforting. The fact that it is indeed "routine" reassures me that everything is as it should be, and the old school way of life continues in a free-flowing manner that is rests easily in my mind.