It is gray and windy and cold, and I want to sit by the fire and eat Christmas cookies.
The Border collies have other plans.
It is time for the afternoon walk.
They are Border collies, and do not mind the rain, the snow, the wind, the heat. They need to exercise, to run, to circle, to chase, to roll. When exercised and worked, they are quite lovely dogs, hanging out in the house while I work. When not worked, well, I don't want to think about that.
So I pull on the boots, put on the winter coat, the hat, the gloves, and step with three very excited dogs into the cold, windy afternoon.
Pulling my collar around my face, I look down, hoping that will provide some protection from the wind.
In my peripheral vision, I see the black and white streaks. Caeli is doing 200-yard wind sprints and Tag is keeping pace. Mickey is circling and bouncing and hoping for sheep.
Five minutes into the walk, I stop thinking about my jeans that are getting wet from the grass, my face that is stinging from the wind.
Ten minutes into the walk, I watch the dogs as they hunt for mice and roll in something I hope isn't too stinky.
At 15 minutes, I stop moping about the gray and enjoy the cold, brisk walk, and the dogs as they circle and chase, run and trot, and pounce.
When we return, the dogs are smiling, and so am I.