Morning chores were done, milk strained and buckets washed. Yes, of course there were those darned Christmas trees staring at me, but I picked up the book I'd started the day before and sat down to read. Practice makes perfect, and I've gotten really good at ignoring accusatory inanimate objects. Turning the last page with a satisfied sigh in the early afternoon, outdoors beckoned. There was still a tangle of brush under the oak that should be pulled over to the burn pile, and now seemed as good a time as any. Frank and Pearl were curled up like bookends in a patch of sunshine in the guest room and said to go ahead without them. Bess was up for a little exercise and so we went out together. Hauling the brush took a number of trips, wending through the stacks of cut rounds left by Tree Guy in the front yard, still waiting to be split. Not a hard job, nothing to work up a sweat, but it needed doing.
It is said that work is its own reward, but the real payoff is when it's done, sitting on a stump in the slanting sunshine, crossing one more thing off the list. I watched Bessie Anne course her way back and forth across the drive, following some scent or other into the south pasture; she had business of her own to attend. That finished, she came and sat by my feet and we listened to and watched the birds flit from tree to tree for awhile in companionable silence, my hand on her head. There are worse ways to spend an afternoon.
It was a good day.