We filled up the bird feeders then took them out of the garage and hung them from the trees in our front yard. The yellow finches are such brightly beautiful wee piggies – they go through a half a feeder's worth of seed in just one day. Dave dumped a margarine dish full of mixed seeds in the main feeder, then tossed in a handful of peanuts for eager blue jays and chipmunks to fight over. The hummingbird feeder was already outside, where feisty hummers were squabbling over whose turn it was.
With our "chores" done, we retired to the gazebo to spend five quiet minutes together before rushing into the day. I kicked off my flip-flops and put my feet up into the cushy comfort of a favourite chair, then sipped my coffee and chatted with Dave about weekend plans, the birds and nothing in particular. I love this time of day. No human activity to speak of, with sane people still in their beds, but the whistling calls of birds and saucy chatter of red squirrels is circus-like in its noisy fervour.
All too soon, Dave got up from his chair, picked up his lunch pail and kissed me. "Have a good day," he said. "Play nice with the other kiddies." He kissed me again, for good measure, and headed for the car.
I waved as he drove away and thought, insanely, that if this was a movie and I was the glamourous star, that he would go so far down the road, realize he couldn't leave me, even for a day, and come back to the gazebo, to our magic morning ritual, and to me.
I sipped my cooling coffee and did an internal head shake, thinking what a maroon.
Then, incredibly, I saw the Jeep reappear, backing up until Dave parked it at the side of the road and got out.
I thought, He came back! Just like in the movies!
I said, "What's going on?" And waited for him to say something romantic like, I need one more kiss from your tender lips before I go.
What he actually said was, "There are fresh moose prints in the mud at the side of the road. I want to see where they go."
So away he went on foot, nose to the ground like some giant ungainly man-beagle.
I finished my coffee while sunlight peeked out from behind a dark cloud, transforming the raindrops dripping from our spruce trees into gleaming pearls.
Already the chill is in the air. Soon it will be autumn and, before we know it there will be snow on the ground and these gentle mornings will be sweet memories.