Friday, June 8, 2007

Coffee With the Birds

I bought a programmable coffeemaker so I could have coffee first thing in the morning without fumbling around with stiff hands, by the light of the refrigerator, spilling the water, and so on. But the question was, what time should I set it for? I get up at different times every day, whether I am working or not. -- Usually out in the sticks here, one of three things wakes me up:

-Sunrise. (5.45 a.m. in summer; in winter I can loll in bed until 8:30 a.m., no problem.)

-Cars on Highway F -- roaring by, driving too fast because the drivers are late to work.

-Woodpeckers pecking on the eaves of the house wanting me to get up and serve them their cake of suet. They know what room I sleep in. They peck on the part of the house that's right above my bed. They'll keep doing it until I get up! Downy and hairy woodpeckers mostly, although the redbellied woodpeckers can be very impatient, too.

I set my programmable coffeemaker to start up at 6:10 a.m. This turned out to be the perfect time.

If I get up before 6:10 a.m. I can get the morning chores out of the way: feed birds their seed and suet, change water in the birdbath, check garden, take daily meds, unlock doors, lay out my work clothes, start laundry. . .

If I get up after 6:10 the pot keeps the coffee warm for two hours so as long as I don't loll until after 8:10 a.m. I get nice hot coffee. ("LOL" around here, in the green and bunny-filled Ozark foothills, is just a misspelling of "loll".)

Try coffee with the birds at 6:15 a.m. sitting at the checkered picnic table on the porch. I enjoy this small ritual from late March until late November, by candlelight or kerosene lamp if necessary. I wear a bathrobe or even a parka on over the pajamas if I must. I sit and think and grow awed: I have been granted another day. A totally new day.

This is perfect happiness. Especially if the day to come can be devoted to writing.

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