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Making the most of a day, or what’s left of it

Today (and every day) I rose early thanks to King Edward I, my new cat liege.

Kitty kings do not give a scratch about Daylight Saving Time. In fact, a 6 to him is just a 9 turned upside down. They excel in turning things upside down and believe that should be the natural course of life. Cats keep small, infallible clocks inside their tummies that relay a gong in their heads when it is food o’clock. I lie still trying to fool him into thinking his yowling is futile, but he has staying power and invariably wins. Did I mention he’s furry, sweet and cuddly?

So, I started my daily routine this morning by feeding three cats (two remain outdoors) to fill their mouths with something other than irritating notes. To be honest, Chicory the Wild has a clandestine meow. He is my rebellious child. Next, I started the coffee and hung an American flag for the special day, paid the water bill (a day late), baked peanut butter chocolate chip cookies, ate peanut butter chocolate chip cookies, and brought up the rear of a Veterans Day parade while waving a small flag.

I then returned home, shared cookies with my faithful maintenance crew, who have been bullish on the leaf-pocalypse in the yard this season, and ate more of said cookies for lunch. I accomplished all this before noon, then called it a day. I’d been at it since 6:00.

Sometimes I get up a good head of steam, ready to seize the hours with both hands and feet and tackle a beefy list, then the engine begins to sputter and cough, reminding me of how little sleep I actually got, and doesn’t an early nap make sense? Eddie thinks so. He’s always ready to sack out after he’s accomplished his three daily tasks — wake the sleeper, eat the food and kill the snake (shoelace).

I usually preface the nap with a good read, because that helps relieve guilt pangs, rationalizing that reading is an integral part of a writer’s job. (I hate pronouncing that word, integral, because it sounds more like a primal grunt than part of the English language)

So, how about that Daylight Saving Time, anyhow? Now that usable daylight clocks out by 4:13, that leaves a long, leisurely evening of dark procrastination ahead. More time for eliminating excess cookies and reading — a sure recipe for unwanted fat accumulation. After all, when the light wanes, I can’t see to do much, like cleaning especially. Can you see the spots on your kitchen floor or food specks missed amid the granite pattern after cleaning the kitchen counters, or dust layers, when all you have are electric light bulbs to clean by? No.

Daylight is needed for many tasks, but today I used up what little there was baking cookies and walking in a parade with some pretty special people — the kids in the Eagle Point High School band, vets on motorcycles, shiny Corvettes with dignitaries in them whom I may have voted for, but later may have changed my mind (I would hate to be a politician), and more veterans, for whom the parade was honoring. I mean, what could follow a parade but a nap?

By the time I’m up for the second time in a day and finish taking a couple of longing gazes out the window for literary inspiration, it’s 4:13 and time to pull the shades on another workday. The cats await their evening bowl and the sun falls so hard and fast you can almost hear the thud, like it didn’t get enough sleep, either, except the thud is really Eddie batting the remote to the floor.

As Steve Miller reminds us, “Time keeps on slippin’, slippin’, slippin’ into the future.” We olders may weigh the truth of those lyrics too often. But Daylight Saving Time seems to throw a banana peel in our path.

Don’t despair. Inflatable turkeys await, even in the fog.

Peggy Dover is a freelance writer/author who is not as morose as she sounds. Reach her at pcdover@hotmail.com.