Good Morning!

Even my dogs can’t mess up Spring.

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ILLUSTRATIONS BY LINDA COOK DEVONA

BAM!

I open my eyes to discover Bodie, the smaller of my two dogs, with his head on my pillow. I don’t move quickly enough to avoid his good-morning kiss, so I get puppy tongue up my nose.

Nice…

Bam!

I roll over to check the time on the alarm clock. 4:30 a.m., the time I normally get up for work. But today is Saturday.

Bam!

Donning my robe and slippers, I shuffle sleepily out to the kitchen where, as I suspected, Roscoe, my other dog, is sitting expectantly by the dog-food cupboard.

“Roscoe, today is Saturday. I don’t need to be up yet!”

Roscoe slams his hip against the cupboard door again—Bam! His posture and the look on his face say, “Don’t care. Feed me.”

After starting the coffee, I prepare breakfast for his Hineyness. His court jester, aka Bodie, hears the food dish being set down and bounds into the kitchen, tail wagging and ears flopping.

Bodie takes off after a squirrel, right through a swath of red tulips.

The coffee is ready. I pour a cup, grab the throw off the sofa, and wrap it around me like a shawl. I head outside, dogs by my side. Spring takes its time here in central Wisconsin. I have seen snow on Mother’s Day, frost on Father’s Day. This morning, however, is beautiful. Sitting on the stoop, I feel warmth in the air. My home sits on nearly an acre of land, most of which I’ve turned into gardens. I’ve planted hyacinths along the sidewalk. Their jeweled tones are lit by the rising sun, and the slight breeze wafts their perfumed fragrance to me. The daffodils, tulips, crocuses, and snowdrops are in various stages of bud and bloom, making the landscape look like a lovely quilt.

Still, there is a great deal of Winter cleanup to be done—raking, pruning, etc., as well as planting a bareroot redbud tree. I will happily spend hours in my gardens: thinking, praying, and solving the problems of the world.

Suddenly Bodie takes off after a squirrel, right through a swath of red tulips, chasing said squirrel up a tree. Bodie and Squirrel have played this game before; it perches just inches out of Bodie’s reach, chattering and laughing. Bodie believes he has won this battle, so he trots proudly back to me, jumping into my lap for praise. I lean forward to discuss the mowed-down tulips with him. Instead I get puppy tongue up my nose—again.

Nice…

I make a mental note to salvage what tulips I can for a bouquet. But for now the sun is warm on my face, the birds are singing, the flowers are fragrant—and it is a very good morning, indeed.


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