Dog on a walk.

Early morning wet, wet, wet. Clearing midday, with some warmth. It got up to 60 F degrees, though clouded up and rained into the night.

Lazy again today, but we only had some painting planned for the place where the old study was, now being transformed into a really nice little bedroom. Actually not so little, I guess, about fifteen feet square, with an adjoining full bath. Windows overlook the front porch, and so it’s comfy, and recently painted. After the substance of the old study made its way up the stairs (and after much complaining from my adult sons who dragged the heavy stuff upwards), Arlene and I determined that the whole place needed a paint job. So we did it. Now the bedroom furnishings are being refreshed, some artwork rejiggered on walls around the house, and the place made nice for guests.

I reviewed the pictures for the day, and I thought that the overall theme that struck me was “routine” – a matter of time, though there was a lot of space exploration going on, too. The earliest shot, successful because we were lazy getting up, was of Rosie on our walk (the “featured image” for this entry). This is a morning ritual, with its small details that are repeated. The earliest routine of dog walking is actually a larger ritual, set up the previous night so that the ritual’s caffeinated “host” is prepared and laid out for quick and efficient consuming after a few hours of rest.

I prepare the coffee by grinding the beans, filling the coffee maker with just enough water for two large mugs of the elixir the following morning, and lay out the vessels, upside down, for the hot liquid on a clean towel to avoid some invasion of dust or, worse, critters. The setup awaits.

Rosie in the morning sleeps in a “doggie doughnut” between Arlene and me on our bed, and in the morning Rosie and I have our routine, beginning (usually, though not this morning) before sunrise. I move my legs off the bed, and lean over to give her a hug and many petting strokes as she slumbers between her mom and dad. She apparently enjoys it, and she stretches. I get up in the dark, grab my glasses from the bookshelf, put on a robe, go to the bathroom. When I return to the bedroom, I fetch Rosie’s food bowl from the floor, and as I walk by the bed, Rosie waits, sometimes offering a sharp and playful bark before she jumps down and heads toward the hall, down the stairs, and to the back door. She sits there waiting for me to put on a coat and some old shoes and to grab her leash. But before I do those things, I push the blue button on the coffee maker, to set brewing in motion.

It all happens in the dark. The only lights are a few nightlights – low-wattage LEDs in little lamps around the house.

When Rosie and I return from our walk, the coffee is freshly brewed. Rosie heads upstairs to the bed or, if Arlene has gotten up, to the couch in our bedroom. I make the coffee according to the recipes of Splenda and half ‘n’ half – Arlene’s requirement – and make up Rosie’s Braunschweiger treat with doggie Prozac embedded. That treat goes atop her dog kibble.

Then, with both hands in ritualistic fashion, I bear the coffee mugs and the dog bowl to the waiting dog and wife.

It happens every morning, usually well before sunrise.

I drove to Roxboro to run some errands, too. Along the way, I took videos in order to automate some image capture. It was a puzzling experiment, since my trip up failed, but I was able to capture a video of the home trip. Looking at it later in order to pull some still images, I noticed that my surroundings are very rural – something quite obvious, I guess – but the meanings of that became clearer: Trump-country politics, scratching a living at fringes, farming, large spaces of little more than trees and woods.

The images themselves, at least taken in as singles, are profoundly boring. Altogether they unfold a bit more clearly, as though you are on a long trip in the middle of nowhere.