Loyal companion Kuma d.o.g. greeted me upon my return from work with her big brown puppy-dog eyes and deep whines that could only mean one thing - cabin fever had set in and she desperately wanted to go to the woods.
The warmth of yesterday had given away to wind, rain and falling temperatures today after which I had planned to stay home where warm and dry.
After acknowledging Kuma's relentless pleas to take her along, we made another mid-winter trip to the forest. As the sun set and wind picked up, our hike in the sub-freezing temperature seemed much colder as I had but a hooded sweat shirt to keep me warm.
Upon arrival, the cabin was but 49 degrees inside yet felt warm away from the chill of the wind blowing strongly outdoors. The smell of warm vanilla sugar still lingered from an extinguished oil burner now cold from our last visit.
With the inverter on, the stored energy from the day's sun provided more than enough energy to light the garland hanging on the fireplace and a stereo tuned into National Public Radio, 104.1.
A 2010 bottle of Raven's Glenn Riesling pulled from the wine bush poured freely into a stemless glass retrieved from the kitchen's cupboard.
In the half darkened cabin with music now streaming beside me, Kuma crawls slowly up on the sofa with a half-eaten rawhide bone in her jaws as I recline in my favorite chair. A warm fleece throw covers me from sock feet to neck and is all that is needed to aclimate to the cool temperature inside. I slowly sip the coolness of white grapes bottled three years earlier.
Today's problems and priorities soon fade away as night's darkness greets us through the skylight above.
As Billy Joel slowly plays his piano on the air waves, Kuma, curled up against a sofa cushion is sound asleep and gently snoring.
Cabin time has now taken our stress away on a mid-winter's eve.