There is a bit of a snore coming from the bed as I write this. Not a snore, really; more of a wheeze. The Kitten is sound asleep, as is normal for a Sunday morning at 0525, but I am not. I awoke 90 minutes ago, wide awake, and decided to enjoy the beauty and calm of the sunrise.
We are in the midst of an epic stretch of weather here on the Eastern Shore. Low 80's, low humidity, lots of sunshine. The house is wide open, and I'm enjoying the sounds of the morning with a small tankard of coffee, made without sufficiently waking up Zuzu (black lab, 3, rambunctious) to the point where she demanded her morning meal. Kitten #2 (Hannah, 15) must wake in 30 minutes, as she has yet another horse show to attend (Champion yesterday in two classes, natch) and I must get her to the barn. The Kitten (Catherine, age undetermined) will take Kitten #1 (Hope, 17) across the bridge a little later on to begin a week at camp with a good friend whose folks have a vacation house on our little peninsula.
Preparations are beginning for a long stretch of solitude here on the Farm, as my women will all abandon me on or about 11 July. Kitten #2 is heading to Cambodia/Thailand on a school trip, and the Kitten and Kitten #1 are headed to South America. I will be solo here for about a month, and while I will miss my girls, I am looking forward to the time of quiet contemplation, early bedtimes, Game of Thrones and Lord of the Rings marathons, cigars, steaks, crabs, the driving range, and general puttering about. The Kitten began my socialization for the time apart last night by walking me around the bits of greenery that will require my watering attention while she nation hops. I once was cast into the floral doghouse for failing to water a group of pointsettias while The Kitten traveled, and I do not wish this to happen again. That it was a Spring Break trip, and the plants were from the previous Christmas did not seem to matter, nor were my protestations of "I thought we buy these plants with the knowledge that they will die" much appreciated.
Watering the plants will be an after dinner pursuit, and I will need to stock up on cigars (Macanudo Portofino) "to keep away the bugs". If anyone has suggestions for how to handle a cup of coffee, a cigar, and a hose---all at the same time, please pass them along.
You may be asking "why are they traveling without you?" Several reasons apply. First, if you've ever traveled with me, you might have some insight into why they are eschewing the pleasure now. Secondly, The Kitten has a habit of putting off the planning of her trips to a point with which I am uncomfortable, and I invariably have already scheduled a number of important events. Thirdly, and most importantly, I've managed to once again box myself in work-wise with a monstrously busy summer. For some reason, my business (Consultant, Defense) gets busy in the summer, and it has since I've been doing it. I do have two, week-long "staycations" planned (one of which will occur whilst the Kittens travel), but the problem with them is that I generally just work at 3/4 speed rather than putting it aside.
My morning bliss has been interrupted by a group of noisy birds just outside the bedroom window. I suppose they are blackbirds or crows, but I really don't know as all I can do is hear them. They are making quite a ruckus, and I'm surprised they haven't awakened The Kitten. It's the kind of cacophony one hears when a group of birds in a tree are approached by one of my cats, but both cats are inside the house, so the source of their disquiet is known only to them.
The sun is up and from the sound of a shockingly loud alarm from the upper reaches of the house, so should Kitten #2 be. I am surrounded by women for whom an alarm is considered a suggestion, rather than an order, and so it sometimes falls to me to ensure they are up and about. Though this one (#2) is the best of the lot in getting up, especially when there is the prospect of a horse show on a beautiful day ahead of her.