January 05, 2015

Seneca Says

In the words of Roman philospher, Seneca, "It is not because things are difficult that we do not dare; it is because we do not dare that make them difficult."

In the wee hours of morning; hiding the light from my Kindle deep under the weight of the flannel sheets, 1 thermal blanket and 3 quilts, Seneca reached out to me. The quote isn't new, we have all heard it said in a hundred ways over the span of our lives. Somehow, at 3:20 a.m., surrounded by 3 snoring dogs and a warm sleeping man, cold, cold air, it grabbed my attention.

First on my list of Do-Not-Dares: removing myself from the bedroom to a space where I could read openly, lights on, a cup of hot chamomile tea and possible, a left over piece of apple pie.

Why do I "not dare"?  Simple; I absolutely hate being cold. My body doesn't stop at chilled; this old body makes a beeline for down-to-the-bone-iced-down-frozen! Recovery takes some major doing, prayer and minor miracles.

To clambor out of bed for a quick retreat to the family room would have meant searching and stumbling in the dark for pajamas or sweats. The clothing would surely be cold. Slipping into cold clothing causes me to break out in goose bumps. Goose bumps causing me to break out in four letter words...possibly resulting in husband waking up. 

Then there are feet that need coverage. That would not be a problem, for my socks from yesterday were being heated by the warm, sleeping body of Rex on the floor next to the bed.  Retrieving said socks would have meant waking Rex, which would cause Kona ('nother dog) to wake and commence with a.m. whining which is different from my-brother-just-jumped-the-fence whining but still just as annoying. Whining would wake Thor. Three canines awake at dark-thirty brings with it a rush to curb their loud whining (guaranteed to be loud whining) and let them out. Add that all up it will possibly cause husband to wake up and still doesn't help my chattering teeth and goose bumpled skin.

Then there is the icy air rushing into the room as I slide the door open; more discomfort and goose bumps.  Sitting at the edge of the bed, waiting for dog business to be done does nothing for the mood of a frozen to the bone woman...(fair warning).

Now dog business, in itself, would be fine; out/in-no one gets hurt!  Alas, our boys have a whole routine, which is much like a can-can dance in a burlesque show with all the leg lifting. First Rex (alpha) stands in the open doorway, sniffing.  More cold air rushing in, more whining on the Pits' side (Kona and Thor), more four-letter words on my side. Whining, four-letter words....husband wakes up. (husband works hard, husband needs sleep).

When Rex has decided the space is clear (no skunks or mountain lions), he walks to the first pillar of the pergola; first leg lift; followed by Kona's leg lift and finally, Thor's. On to next pillar. There are 10 pillars in all. Then there are the bushes and fence line that must be reconnaissance-sniffed and subsequently marked.  Hashtag: keep out unless you want to come in and play or feed us

The boys then run for the water bowl to refill their tanks just in case Rex decides to return to the first pillar for an encore round of leg lifting, just to make sure any visiting cats or possums know that he is the boss, not the two adolescent pit bulls. Of course, the boys follow around to add to Rex's scent. Yes, my backyard smells that good...but I haven't had a mountain lions visit in a coon's age!

While the boys perform their version of the PeePee Rockettes routine, I will have goose-bumped myself into pj's or sweats, still shivering. Just about the time I pull the warmed socks on, Rex will be scratching at the door.

A good fifteen minutes will have passed, I will be miserably cold, dogs will take a couple more minutes to settle. At least two chapters of reading traded for wretched discomfort.

Microwave water for tea, read another chapter while quaking from despicable cold  Sleep would be calling my name (and if not sleep just the promise of warmth would be whispering to me from the bedroom. 

Crawling into bed, accompanied with icy feet, icy hands and icy butt, I slip under the covers. Cuddling up next to sleeping husband, seeking warmth, effectively, shocking him into wakefulness.

Sometimes Seneca got it wrong.

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