Posted tagged ‘Alarm clock’

“When you are measuring life, you are not living it.”

August 22, 2016

Today is perfect in every way. It is sunny, breezy and dry. To top it off, it rained last night. I heard it against the window, a heavy rain. I don’t know how long the storm lasted but the deck was still a bit damp this morning. The weatherman says today and tomorrow will be beautiful with cool nights, even down to the low 60’s.

When summer starts to wind down, it seems to die quickly. The darkness sneaks in a few minutes at a time until we realize how early we need lights. We don’t think about the cool nights as we’re glad for a reprieve from the hot days, but then the days get cooler. Labor Day arrives, schools open and summer is unofficially over.

I wish summer were longer. When I was a kid, I wanted it to last forever. My days were filled with bike riding, berry picking and sleeping in the backyard. We had picnics in the woods. Bedtime was late. Dinner was casual. The clock had stopped controlling our lives.

I don’t wear a watch. The last time I remember wearing one was in Ghana, probably the one place where you didn’t need a watch. When I taught, tbells started and ended classes and every room had a giant clock so a watch was superfluous. I’m retired. I don’t clock watch unless I have an appointment. I have no bedtime. I go when I’m tired. No alarm jars me awake. I open my eyes, stretch, say good morning to Fern and Gracie at the foot of my bed, figure out what day of the week it is and if I have anything on my dance card then I get up, and it’s time for coffee and the newspapers.

“Do you see that out there? The strange, unfamiliar light? It’s called the sun. Let’s go get us a little.”

March 10, 2015

The alarm went off at 7:15. It was an unfamiliar sound, even an intrusion. I jumped out of bed to turn it off and also took the battery out of the clock, a noisy clock with a loud ticking. I then had to shake away the grogginess of the early morning and figure out why I’d set the alarm. I remembered I had a 9:00 library board meeting and had added extra time for papers and coffee, the morning rituals I seldom forego.

Gracie and I got to the library early so we listened to the radio then I noticed the bird, a bright red cardinal, sitting on the branch of a still slumbering tree surrounded by snow. The red was vibrant, and the bird was kind enough to stay for a while. I watched the whole time.

Only one other person came for the meeting, the meeting that wasn’t. I dropped my library books into the return slot then came home and rang the librarian who told me the president of the board had broken her arm and was now in rehab. I expect calling about the meeting was low on the list of priorities for our madam president.

Did I mention the sun? It waited until later in the morning to make its appearance but here it is for the second day in a row. Last night it was cold enough to frost the car windows and re-freeze all the melted ice and snow, but today the sun will be warm again and the temperature will rise throughout the morning. It will be in the 40’s, almost tropical. For the rest of the week that weather cycle will continue: a sunny, warm day followed by a freezing night followed by another sunny, warm day. The sun is accompanied by the constant sounds of dripping, melting snow. I’m beginning to think of that sound as music.

“Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year.”

February 25, 2014

The cold weather is back and snow may be on the way tomorrow, but I, however, am finally resigned to winter now that it is nearly over. There is no sense complaining. It just makes me grouchy and serves no purpose. Over the weekend it was 50˚, and I got to thinking ahead to barbecue and beach weather. Spring will eventually come. It always does.

My life has a routine. It has always had a routine, but the routine has changed as I have changed and grown older. The longest routine was during the thirty-three years I worked in the high school. I got up the same time every day, came home around the same time and spent my evenings in the same way as I had the day before and the day before that. I never thought of my routine as a rut. I liked my job though for all those years 5 o’clock always struck me as a barbaric time for waking up and getting out of bed. I don’t do that any more. This summer I will celebrate ten years of retirement. The only time I set my clock now is on Mondays for breakfast with my friend at nine. It’s a wonderful thing that I have to set the alarm to get out of bed by eight. I like the routine I find myself living now.

This morning the paper had pictures of purple croci ( I had four years of Latin in high school so I’m going with first declension masculine plural on this one). They are a hopeful sign as are the green shoots in my front garden. I saw a few more this morning which had been hidden under the snow. They made me smile and forget for a moment that it’s cold and a bit raw today.

The world continues to amaze me. Sometimes I am stopped in my tracks. There we are, Gracie and I, just riding along when all of a sudden I am struck by the beauty of the marsh or the colors of the sunset. I’m usually moved to talk out loud and use words like wow or oh my God. It doesn’t matter how many times I have seen the sheer beauty of the ocean or the glory of a sunny day or a sky lit with stars. I can’t help but be overwhelmed. I think it a wonderful thing that we can live years and years and still be moved by the every day.

“Morning is wonderful. Its only drawback is that it comes at such an inconvenient time of day.”

July 2, 2012

Monday still carries a bit of gloom about it even though I’ve been retired for so long. The Monday horror of the alarm abruptly pulling me from dreamland after two glorious days of sleeping in, the tiny Monday papers and the start of yet another work week dissipates slowly. It took 35 years for the weekday resentment to build, and the older I got, the more difficult  it was to drag myself out of bed. I loved my job but, on Mondays, I loved it the least.

I am not a morning person. I love the late nights when I am the only one awake, and everything is quiet. When all the houses around me are dark, I feel as if the night is mine. I’d probably be a great vampire if they really existed. I’d have no problem sleeping all day; however, the biting and the blood would be drawbacks. In Ghana, I actually liked the mornings and didn’t need an alarm clock. The roosters worked just as well, maybe even better as they didn’t need electricity or batteries. It was in the mornings when my school compound came most alive. I could hear the swishing sounds of brooms as students cleaned and swept the grounds then I’d hear the water from the taps splashing into their buckets and the clangs as the students hauled their buckets to the stalls where they’d take their bucket baths. Little kids walked by on their to the primary school and greeted me as I sat outside to drink my coffee. The morning air was always the sweetest and the coolest.

I love mornings in other places, wherever I travel.  I remember Santa Fe and getting to the square early in the morning where I sat and drank my coffee and  watched the Indians set up their wares in front of the Governor’s Palace. I watched store owners sweep the walks in front of their establishments and realized sweeping is a universal. In Portugal I watched trucks unloading fish and produce in front of shops and stores. I ate fresh rolls and drank strong coffee as I walked. Most places are best seen in the early morning when people are going about their business and the day is unfolding.