“I believe in rituals.”

Last night it rained and today it is supposed to rain again, heavily. The sun is popping in and out of the clouds. The temperatures of the last couple of days have been in the 70’s with mild nights in the 60’s. My windows are opened and the front door still has its screen. Gracie sits there and looks out for the longest time. I wonder what keeps her interest as my street is a quiet one. I stand with her every now and then just to keep her company.

All my life I have had morning rituals. During my childhood the weekday mornings were always the same. Get up, get dressed, eat breakfast, do teeth then walk to school. For breakfast I always drank cocoa. My mother gave us toast and eggs and in the winter we had oatmeal, the sort which always has lumps. When I was in high school, I had to get up earlier and getting the bus was added to the ritual. In college, I grabbed breakfast on the way out, and every morning my friends and I would sit together in the canteen, drink coffee and race each other in finishing the newspaper’s crossword puzzle. Usually we worked in teams of two. When I was in Ghana, I had the same thing every morning: horrible coffee, two fried eggs and toast. The eggs were cooked in peanut oil, and they were the best fried eggs I ever had. If I had a break in classes, I’d walk to my house and have another cup of coffee and sit on the porch to drink it. Breakfast never varied. I had margarine on my toast as butter was imported and not in my budget. I’d sometimes add groundnut paste, the Ghanaian version of thick, thick peanut butter which needed to be mixed with peanut oil to make it spreadable. The Ghanaians used it as a soup base. Those mornings in Ghana were amazing, every single day.

When I started teaching, I got up 5, had two cups of coffee, read as much of the paper as I could, got dressed and left for school at 6:20. On the way to school, I’d stop at Dunkin’ Donuts for a medium coffee. I did that every weekday until I retired.

In retirement I haven’t changed much though now I get up whenever. I feed the cats, fill the water dish, fill the dog’s dry food dish, let the dog out, put the coffee on and get the papers in the driveway. Sometimes I have toast and sometimes I have a bagel but mostly I just have coffee, usually two cups, one with each paper. I take my time reading the papers. I then check my e-mail and finally start writing Coffee.

I think of my mornings as ritual, as almost sacred.

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6 Comments on ““I believe in rituals.””

  1. MT C Says:

    Here we are having the nicest and probably the longest (in a long while at least) autumn. Only one night of freezing so far and one day of flurries. We have usually had snow on the ground for at least three days by now. If this is climate change, I must say that it is agreeing with me. Makes me kinda wish I was still in the Philippines, but not really. I enjoy driving to where I want to go and of course there is that Medicare thing, which is pretty nice, too.

    Coffee has always been my choice for not only breakfast, but for mid – morning/afternoon breaks. Something about being up for things. I think though that I just like the taste and that it goes well with so many things.

    Carl

    • katry Says:

      Carl,
      The autumn on Cape Cod is always the nicest season. It stays warmer longer here thanks to the ocean and the roads are mostly clear. This year, though, has been far warmer tun usual. I suppose it’s Mother Nature’s way of apologizing for a cooler than average summer.

      When I was a kid, my mother gave me tea she I was sick so I associate hot tea with being sick.

      I do love coffee, a good strong coffee, and , like you, I often have a cup in the late afternoon or early evening.

  2. Hedley Says:

    Sequencing and the routine dominate my being and I am comfortable within the boundaries of the familiar.

    Maggie the Westie associates my departure for work with eating and as soon as it is clear that I am going, she has a large serving of water in anticipation of her breakfast. Of course around 6.45 she will sit at my feet whining and making it very clear that I need to go and make a living.

    • katry Says:

      My Dear Hedley,
      I don’t mind the unfamiliar but my mornings somehow stay the same no matter where I am. It is coffee which connects all the mornings of my adult life.

      Because I left so early in the morning, my dogs always got their can food in the early evening. Dry food was always there in case they got hungry. Gracie though eats at the oddest hours. She puts her head on my arm while I’m reading, and that’s the signal she’s hungry. Sometimes it is as early as 2 or even as late as 5. I always bow to her wishes.

  3. Coleen Says:

    Coffee always first thing…the odd thing about me is that I must stop drinking the “high test” at 3pm each day or I will be up all night. Go figure.

    I know people who can drink it all day and night and sleep like babies…I am secretly jealous.

    And I love all sorts of breakfast foods, but I rarely am awake early in the AM to eat it at what most people would consider the time for breakfast…this is a remnant of my working nights and being up til 4am…

    My recent schedule is more like 10am to 1am…and I will often eat breakfast at any time in that window…

    When I was a kid I can remember breakfast so early that I needed coffee to go with it just to wake up.

    Lovely day here…crazy schedule upcoming…time for lots of coffee!

    Waving…

    Coleen

    • katry Says:

      Hi Coleen,
      I can still have coffee at night and sleep. I’ve always been lucky that way.

      I think you can have breakfast any time of day. It is the versatile meal. I love going out for breakfast more than any other meal, and I love all sorts of breakfast foods except pancakes. I find their consistency off-putting for some reason. Eggs Benny and French toasts are my two all time favorites.

      It is pouring right now, and we just had thunder. I called for a small cheeseburger sub and onions petals to be delivered for dinner. The poor guy will need a big tip with all this rain.

      Have a great evening!

      Waving!


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