You got up WHEN?

You would think, without the burden of having to get up and out the door every day, I would sleep later. Not so much. In fact, I’ve developed a habit of getting up before sunrise even when Miss Puppy doesn’t harrass me out of bed. Sleeping in general has become particularly problematic since we “gained an hour” (wishful thinking) in the fall. I know I join many of you when I say that I don’t care WHICH time, standard or daylight—just pick one and stick to it already.

The really sick aspect of this early rise habit is that I’ve gotten to like getting up really early and am in fact a bit disappointed on those very rare mornings when I wake  to find the dial pointing to 8 or later. Yes, we still have a plug-in bedside clock that actually has a face and hands. Not everything has to be digital, no matter what Best Buy tells you. It doesn’t reset itself in the spring and fall, or when the power goes out, but neither does the clock in my car, which once actually made me an embarrassingly early for my neighbor’s baby shower. Fortunately, the host had a sense of humor.

Lazing around in my PJs, before Miss Pup makes her appearance and hubby is up and about, I can watch the sunrise, read books, scan my digital reading list (although the news is awful enough to ruin anyone’s morning), and have my coffee in delicious, unfettered silence. My Nespresso® groans briefly, filling my little cup with creamy froth and then uttering not a sound till I make another.

That’s pretty much all I want to hear at 5:30 ince the day will get noisy soon enough. Aside from a car or two going by—we live in a very quiet neighborhood— everything in this house “sings”. The phone will play that little ATT tune: da da da da da da DA da da da. The dishwasher will beep three times when it’s done. The oven will beep when it’s hot enough and again when the timer goes off. The microwave will let me know when I don’t open the door; the refrigerator, when I don’t close it. And the washer and dryer will announce when the load is done. A virtual symphony of morning-to-night sound that I am grateful not to hear now.

I don’t do housework in these early morning hours unless I have a fairly quiet chore. In addition to guarding my quiet time, I try to let my night-owl husband sleep an extra hour or two. But on occasion, I play in the kitchen. The photo shows a particularly aggressive pancake episode that occurred right before dawn one winter morning. Right now, it’s almost 7, and I have four loaves of bread in the oven that I made and shaped last night. All but one are surprises for our neighbors. The aroma from the baking loaves will probably set Miss Puppy’s nose to wiggling and coax her out of bed. It’s temping enough to soothe even the most committed morning curmudgeon. Too bad you can’t bottle it.

Oh, look—I see daylight. Pup will be up soon, the loaves cooling on the rack, the sun streaming through the shutters. On second thought, maybe no sun this morning. I’ve read another chapter of The French Chef in America, which so far I’m loving just as much as My Life in France, finished this post, and I’m ready for another espresso. Getting up early, it turns out, can be pretty darn sweet. Except at about 3 PM, when you start to feel like that semi ran over you. If I hit that wall, I find it’s just best to give in and take a catnap or, if I can’t, to hit that Nespresso button again.



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