I woke up to a nice cool breeze coming in through the window this morning just before eight. I felt fairly rested, which is strange considering that I only had a few hours of sleep. There was a small attack at dusk last night, and I was on call for archery duty, so I went.
Various other things kept me awake, including some detailed reports that needed to be given a detailed look. Since I had missed them somehow yesterday, I stayed up to work on them.
But screw all that. This post isn't about news or zombies or anything but a wonderful morning.
I woke up as I usually do to my lovely wife Jess sleeping next to me. Once removed in this case, since Becky was sprawled between the two of us. What actually woke me up was Becky turning over in her sleep and flopping her arm over onto my face. Both of them woke up shortly after I did, and the three of us made our way to the kitchen in our jammies.
I've got this little barter system going with Pat's girls. Three days a week they come in and make breakfast on their way back from the farms after collecting eggs, and in return Jess and I make them things. Things that they'd have little to no chance to procure otherwise. Like armor in child's sizes, and weapons to match. We're working on those things in our spare time, but they're worthwhile projects. Anything that might save a kid's life should be seen as worthwhile, in my mind.
So there was wonderful breakfast waiting for us. Due to the valley folks joining us, there is an abundance of pork that needs to be used up. The piggies were the last to go, and there wasn't time to properly preserve the meat. Most of it managed the trip alright, though I have no idea what the valley girls did to it to make it keep this long. So today I got not only eggs, but ham and a little bacon too.
And Pat brought fresh bread. He had someone build a little oven right next to the forge, and the girls set the dough out to rise before they go to the farms.
Oh, but the best part, aside from spending a wonderful breakfast with my favorite people? Strawberry jam. Someone must really love one of us. I don't know who left it on my doorstep, but GOD BLESS YOU. I was so excited that I even gave a slice of warm buttered bread with jam on it to Will when he did his morning stop for Dodger's paperwork. I'm feeling a little guilty about his current situation, seeing how he saved the lives of every person that made it back from Tennessee.
I wrote yesterday that death is around us all the time. That we dance with it on a daily basis and know how easily our steps could falter at any moment. That's just as true today.
But now, the corollary: life is that much sweeter. Living with the constant specter of doom over your shoulder has a wonderful way of making the thousand tiny beautiful things all the better. Pat's adopted girls are fierce and wonderful, and the fact that they've allowed Jess and I (and to increasing degrees, Becky) to get close to them is spectacular. Seeing Patrick happier than I've ever seen him is almost a miracle. Hell, seeing Becky alive after all this time is like finding out a twin I didn't know I had was alive, well, and missed me.
Those are all big things. The important lesson here is that living with the dead, and death, makes even a simple pleasure like fresh strawberry jam all the better.