Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Time Changes

First of all... let me be literal. I'm usually a "go with the flow" sorta guy. Usually. But I noted in these pages recently that I'm having trouble adapting to the time change this year,  especially where my Happy Hour routine is concerned.  The shorter days mean I have to get started at least an hour to an hour and a half earlier than I really want to.  Happy Hour has turned into more of a late liquid lunch rather than a contemplative postscript to my busy day.  (That last is dripping with intended irony, if'n ya missed it.)

And Happy Hour ain't the half of it, either.  There's the time change and there's also the change of season... which means it's chilly now.  Not cold, not yet.  But chilly.  That impacts another ritual of mine... which is more of an occasional, as opposed to daily, sort of thing.  And something I only do during the warmer to warmest days of the year.  And that, Gentle Reader, is a sly introduction to a (lightly edited) re-run.  Herewith...

Morning Coffee

So. I took my morning coffee on the verandah today…three cups of it, anyway, accompanied by about a third of a cigar. And, in so doing, I put off my usual routine of coffee/making the virtual rounds until rather late in the morning, as defined by folks with real lives and…um…dare I say it?

There wasn’t a cloud in the sky when I stepped outside, coffee in hand, this morning. And it was already up to 75 degrees at 0830. A beautiful day, in other words. So, there I sat, coffee in one hand, cigar in the other, feet up and feeling pretty danged good about things. I got to thinking about days gone by and of other places I’ve had my morning coffee.
The first place that came to mind was here, and this is a pic of my deck at the ol’ homestead in Fairport, NY. I was always an early riser back in my working days, and I’d often take my first cup of coffee on the deck (and sometimes the second cup, too, depending on the schedule) and watch the sun come up over the neighborhood…say around 0530, or so. In the summer time, of course, the deck being not quite as accommodating in the winter, as you can see. The thing I loved about this particular place and time was the quiet…traffic hadn’t yet begun its crawl out of the sub-division, the birds were chirping, most of the world was still asleep, and there was always a certain coolness in the air before the summer sun began warming Upstate New York. It was very peaceful, in other words, and a good place to get organized while contemplating the upcoming day.
So…various and sundry other places popped into and out of my mind, as well. The dining room table in Ferndale, Michigan that overlooked the backyard, aka “the garden,” as the Brits say. Watching the dogs chase the squirrels in the early summer morning, windows open, and warm, humid breezes blowing in and billowing the lacy curtains back and forth.
Or sitting on my patio at the house in Oklahoma City (Choctaw, actually, a suburb of OKC), looking out over the property which consisted of two acres dotted with numerous scrub oaks and two or three “real” trees (i.e., over ten feet tall). One of the real trees was a towering oak of about 40 feet or so that sported an old-fashioned two-seat swing suspended from a thick low-hanging bough. Coffee was taken in that swing too, often in the company of The Second Mrs. Pennington…but she usually only joined me in the swing on the weekends.
And then there were those times back in my Work Days when I was on the road and had to arise, get cleaned up, and get fully dressed before I had my first cup. I took those first cups in various dining rooms or coffee shops at the hotels I stayed in. London. Singapore. Beijing. Moscow. Various places in the US of A.  The coffee was uniformly bad, nearly always. A good cup of coffee in the days before Starbucks and especially overseas was a rare thing, indeed. Eventually I took to carrying my own coffee with me.
I thought about other places where morning coffee was had…places like the various apartments I’ve lived in, the Air Force chow halls, and the RV parks I’ve stayed at/in, too. My morning coffee, and the rituals surrounding it, is perhaps the one thing that has remained unchanged throughout my life. A lot of things change in life as we move forward …people, places, and things… but some things remain the same. And my morning coffee ritual is one of the constants. The end is nigh if that ever changes…

Heh. I may be back later in the day with something new and different. Or maybe not. I've also brought to your attention we've been singularly uninspired of late. We ARE working on that...


  1. I have noticed that change does not come easy anymore. Now and then, maybe we need to do something to shake things up - building my house will do that. But may morning coffee rituals never change - Toby and I get up early and have coffee together. It is and has been a special time throughout our marriage.

    Word verification: blend

  2. What a lovely piece -- so thoughtful and meaningful, even though I'm not a morning person. The connections between places and rituals last a lifetime. Pretty words, too.

    Thanks for the re-run since it's new-to-me!

    Happy hour is happy hour. Liquid lunch or not!

  3. Sometimes, coffee and toast and someone who looks as disheveled (whatever that means) is the best way to start a day.

    Then again, a "Bucks Fizz" is an equally great starter, too.

    (Finally got something new, come on by and gawk!)

  4. Lou: Agreed. I'm not dealing with change all that well these days. A road trip might cure that...

    Moogie: Thank ya, Ma'am. Re-runs ain't an entirely BAD thing, readership being what it is. Speaking of turn-over, of course.

    Darryl: Thank you, too.


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