The first thing I do every morning is, like all of us, head for the bathroom. On the way, my head is a-swivel. I'm looking out the windows. What kind of day is it? What colour is the sky? Are the treetops bending in the wind? Are the branches laden with heavy hoarfrost? These days, they are. Talk about living in a postcard.
Next I look to see if Scott's still home or has already gone on his merry way. Early riser that he is, if he's still here he may be tucked into the corner of the couch with the dog, looking at his laptop. Probably about 50% of the time, he's long gone. Nowadays they are putting out bales for and watering the cattle most mornings before they get on to their other work. Whether he's here and I join him in the living room to drink my coffee, or whether I've got the house to myself, it's all good.
Emil's here this morning and will be till Christmas Day, when his dad arrives from Edmonton. They'll spend the next few days together in town at Everett's.
Emil has two weeks off work now, the same two weeks that I have, but he didn't want to come and stay out here at all. Now that's saying something for the supervised group home, isn't it! He's more than happy there, and tells me he worries that I might make him move back here with me, when he wants to spend the rest of his life there.
I tell him not to worry, that he is always welcome wherever I am, but most mothers want their children to grow up and move out. We don't want to look after them forever.
"I love you, Mom. I would not be happy if you die on purpose." Because we lost a close friend of the family to suicide a few years ago, he worries. I assure him that it won't happen to me, though I will die sometime, and likely before he does. "I think I'll miss you then," he says. Yes, my darling; you will.