Since my husband is usually gone by the time I wake up, I have the baby and the house to myself.
After brewing a cup of green tea, I step outside into the beautiful August morning to take a breath of fresh air before the baby wakes up. The barn is right across from the house, the little red barn that Jerry, my husband and a cop in town, built. We have an eight-acre farm with rescued animals here in Wilton, Connecticut. The goat, two sheep, and Oreo, an Australian shepherd, are already in the field. Jerry fed them and let them out of the barn, including our six house dogs. He also raked the straw out of the barn before he left for the Wilton Police Department down on Route 7.
How the baby sleeps through that racket I don’t know. She’s a little more than three months old.
I open the barn’s wide door and go straight to the back and to the aviary where the chickens are scratching in the dusty floor made perfect by Jerry, they roost in the cherry tree at night. The hens will dust bathe, sit on their nests, where, Jerry the rooster, not my husband, but a lovely bird that is named after him, placed them, and if they don’t like where rooster Jerry places their nests, the hens won’t sit and rooster Jerry makes a new nest.
Absolute privacy is called for when a hen lays her egg.
I’m mindful that I have only a few minutes for I must get back to Leonora. All the birds come from one of those huge “Egg Farms” where the hens are squeezed into cages, and in buildings with tens of thousands of others. They “fell off a truck” going to slaughter, Jerry says, and he rescued them. I don’t push on that. We started out with seven and now we have ten, and a few more might be “falling off a truck” any day now, Jerry told me yesterday. They arrived, pathetic, sick with respiratory ailments that I feared would kill them, along with their terror of humans. But they survived. A year has gone by, they are happier when we are not in sight, but they’ve healed, our vet bills reflect the care it took.
I’ve had my morning tranquility so now I rush across the front lawn on the worn dirt path to the front door of our little two-story wooden colonial, climb up the steps to our friendly small front porch. I take a deep breath, and gaze one more time at the fenced in eight acres spread, the field of corn, the towering maples and oaks, whose leaves reach the wide blue waking sky, the back field where the animals no doubt are roaming, they love it there. Heaving a couple of more sighs, I walk into the house and rush up the stairs that are a few feet away from the front door, and to the master bedroom and the baby’s small crib that is next to our bed. I can’t have her too far from me.
She’s sitting up, her warm brown hazel eyes are like Jerry’s and shoot over to me smiling even more, and her little chubby arms reach up to me and I wonder how I ever lived a day without her as I gather her up in my arms and kiss away and feel her soft silky skin.
Now for a little breakfast, and then a walk in the field with the stroller to say good morning to the dogs, sheep and goat under the morning sky. Life just couldn’t get any better; it is impossible to make it better.
In the kitchen, there is no note from Jerry, which is good news. Often when something terribly wrong happens, he’ll let me know. I was a reporter for the local papers, and know many people in town. Now I’m kind of a local hero, totally undeserved, people got the image of me since I thought it my business as a reporter to protect their interest in town policies regarding their well water, and the environment as a whole. Then we had a murder December before last, and Jerry and I solved it, but according to many in the town, I did it all on my own. Then there was the missing girl, last August, whose parents came to us for help.
So if things go wrong, I often get a call and I’m glad to help. As an investigative reporter, it’s natural for me to dig to find the truth. People expect that of me, I expect that of me. But, now with Leonora, I’m so loving the tranquility of my life, I’m a bit more selfish with my time, and believe that Leonora is my first priority.
I set Leonora into her little highchair next to the table to eat her breakfast made from our fruit trees, cherries, apples, pears and peaches harvested and then jarred by my incredible mother-in-law, Lillian. While I’m mixing fruit with a little baby oatmeal and organic almond milk the doorbell rings.
I pick up the baby all ready smeared with peaches on her hands and face. Opening up the door, I see a Roselyn, a choir member, she’s looking totally frazzled. I belong to the St. John’s Episcopal Church choir, and Roselyn is my best buddy there.
“Rossi, you have to help me!”
You can read more about Carol in Broken Window, the second book in the “Carol Rossi” mystery series, published by Mainly Murder Press. The first book in the series is Murder at the P&Z.
GIVEAWAY: Leave a comment by 12 a.m. eastern on May 8 for the chance to win a copy of Broken Window. The giveaway is open to U.S. residents only. Winner will be notified within 48 hours after giveaway closes and you will have three days to respond after being contacted or another winner will be selected. Make sure to check your SPAM folder.
About the author
Dorothy Hayes, a staff writer for local Connecticut newspapers for five years, received an honorary award for her in-depth series on Vietnam Veterans from the Society of Professional Journalists. Prior to that she was a Language Arts teacher. A staff writer for a national animal protection organization, for six years, she wrote Animal Instinct, 2006. Dorothy lives in Stamford, CT with her husband, Arthur. She also raised four children, and is the mother-in-law to three, grandmother to fourteen, and is GN to Bella. She writes for WomenofMystery.Net, CriminalElement.Com, and is a member of Sisters-in-Crime-Tri-State Chapter, and Mystery Writers of American. Visit her at DorothyHayes.com for more information.