From Christina: Almost everywhere in the US, temperatures have been dropping to record lows. Today, author E M Bannock shares winter in Wyoming, writing about a typical morning for her.
WINTER MORNING IN CLARK
By E M Bannock
I opened my eyes and looked at the clock. It was already five, time to get up. On my way to the bathroom I glanced over at the weather station, minus five, with the wind chill, minus twelve. I shivered and got dressed in a hurry. I walked into the living room and sat down next to the wood stove. I ran my hands over it to see if there was any warmth left. I detected only a slight heating but it was enough. Looking inside I could see a few hot coals in the back. I used the poker to bring them up to the front and put a couple of pieces of small kindling on them. As soon as I closed the wood stove door I could see sparks flying around and the coals glowing red.
It was time to tend to the dogs that were already hovering around. “Who wants to go pee-pee outside?” I asked as all three raced to the front door. When I opened the door a whoosh of cold air and blowing snow hit me in the face. The dogs raced out barking as they romped in the snow. The kindling in the fireplace had flamed, and I put a few logs on top to build a roaring fire. By now the dogs were ready to come back in and have breakfast and morning treats.
I filled up the coffee pot and got it ready for the guys so when they woke up for work they just had to flip the switch. I’d make my tea after I showered. I headed downstairs to my special room and meditated.
When I came upstairs I suited up for the cold with my below zero hat, scarf, Carhartt pants and jacket, boots and two pair of gloves, one pair for warmth and a thinner pair to wear while I fed the horses. The dogs knew what was going on and they were anxious. I had to put a doggie coat on Jenna ‘cause she is short haired and gets very cold, but mostly because she is a baby. Suzie, a Black Lab, loves the cold. Shadow, Suzie’s daughter, preferred to snuggle downstairs in bed with her master, my son.
We walked outside and the cold hit me like a sobering splash of cold water. I breathed it in and felt it down in my lungs. I looked up. The moon was crescent but shining bright. I could see the Milky Way blazing across the sky. I saw a falling star and made a wish.
The snow crunched beneath my feet as I walked out toward the barn. I let out the whistle that told the horses I’m coming and it’s time to eat. I heard Doc whinny back. I opened the barn door and turned on the lights. The fluorescent’s flickered and glowed dimly. It was so cold that it took time for them to brighten. As I filled the horses feed bins I saw that their backs were frosty and so were their whiskers and eyelashes. I talked to them softly as I gave them their various morning feeds.
On my last horse chore, giving the horses their Horse Candy treats, I detoured to the chicken coop and opened up the gate so that they could free range. I saw the red glow of their heat lamps from the window. I called out to them, “Morning, girls.” A few answered back. I smiled.
On my way back to the barn I called out to the dogs and asked, “Who’s a good girl that needs a treat?” They both came running and sat in front of me. I made them shake and gave them each a Horse Candy and said, “Let’s go inside, girls.” Jenna took off running a hundred miles an hour. Suzie just meandered her old bones back with me trailing behind.
The snow was glistening like a field of diamonds as I made my way back to the house. I could see the moon reflected on the creek water as it rushed past its icy banks, its sound assaulting the still morning quietness. I looked around and lavished in the peace and tranquility of our homestead and said a quite prayer of thanks that I was lucky enough to live in this piece of heaven on earth.
E M Bannock has loved reading for as long as she can remember. For her, writing stories seemed like a natural progression.
Here’s how she describes her experience as an author:
I often thought about being an author but after graduation life got real serious and I had to get a paying job. Life happened and my dream was put on the back burner. In 1997, I had an inspiration to write my first book, “Totally Devoted.” I tried to get it published but was unsuccessful. A year or so ago certain life events happened that allowed me the opportunity to pick it up again. I began researching self-publishing. I revamped my book and can now proudly say I am a published romance author. The experience has been a wonderful ride so far, although self-promotion is proving to be a challenge. It has opened up a whole new world and I’ve made a lot of friends. I have found that fellow romance authors are a friendly bunch willing to share.