I love My Dog

Climbing out of bed in the dark, particularly on a Monday morning, is not easy. I consider myself a morning person. I love to be out walking when the sun rises, but in the middle of winter my schedule requires that I’m up and out before sun-up. It’s cold and dark. My scarf is wrapped tightly around the collar of my jacket to keep the cold from creeping down inside my neck. But our dog Grace is exuberant to be out and walking towards downtown. She’s part of the reason we are up and on the move first thing in the morning. What did we do without a dog?
Well there are the children, but two are already out of the house. Alex is standing out waiting for the school bus that takes her to the high school at 6:34. She waits until the very last minute to walk out the door and checks the time on her cell phone. “It’s satellite time,” she informs me, “So it’s the most accurate.” Evidently she is wise to the fact that I try to set all the clocks in the house a little ahead, because most members of our family have a tendency to run late.
Grace stays asleep in her spot on one of the unoccupied beds or under the dining room table until she is certain my husband Peter and I are ready to be on our way. She dances anxiously about as only a golden retriever can, wanting to be petted and wanting us to open the door so she can go outside.
The sky is still dark and the moon has been cut in half. I start walking ahead because I’m so cold I have to keep moving at a brisk pace. Everyone has put out their garbage and recycling for collection. Up ahead sitting on the curb is a large and grand poinsettia plant. Evidently purchased for the holidays, the owners have grown tired of it and have put it outside with the garbage. What a waste. I’m tempted to take it home, but I’m already halfway downtown and I really don’t have space for another large plant, plus I’m not that diligent in caring for the plants that I have. Many of my poinsettias have died from temporary neglect. But I certainly wouldn’t put a healthy looking one out in the cold. Ah well….
Looking down Main Street towards the water, I can see a little smudging of purple and pink in the sky, but it’s still mostly dark gray. Three tall cranes, part of the work project down at City Dock, are silhouetted in the sky.
On the return home, Peter, Grace and I walk together and we talk about our plans for the day and the week. The sky is still gray, and there aren’t many people walking the streets this morning. The hot coffee tastes great going down my throat. Something about the contrast between the cold and the hot is so comforting.
It’s the start of the week.

Published by Nadja Maril

Nadja Maril is a communications professional who has over 10 years experience as a magazine editor. A writer and journalist, Maril is the author of several books including: "American Lighting 1840-1940", "Antique Lamp Buyer's Guide", "Me, Molly Midnight; the Artist's Cat", and "Runaway, Molly Midnight; the Artist's Cat". Her short stories and essays have been published in several small online journals including Lunch Ticket, Change Seven, Scarlet Leaf Review and Defunkt Magazine. She has an MFA in creative writing from Stonecoast at the University of Southern Maine. Former Editor-in-Chief of What's Up ? Publishing, former Editor of Chesapeake Taste Magazine a regional lifestyle magazine based in Annapolis, and former Lighting Editor of Victorian Homes Magazine, Maril has written hundreds of newspaper and magazines articles on a variety of subjects..

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