Sometimes Morning IS My Jam

Have I mentioned that I’m not a morning person?  If I haven’t, then I’m not.  If I have, then it’s because I am REALLY not.

That being said, I love mornings.  Stay with me here.  There is a constant tug-of-war going on between my circadian rhythm and my passion for everything morning-related.

This morning involved a pre-dawn trip to another city.  I grumbled as I hit the snooze on my 5 am alarm.  An hour later, I was walking to the truck in the dark.  The temperature was 34 degrees, and the November sky was clear.

Snug in my hoodie, I watched the landscape slowly take shape as the dawn chased the darkness away.  Heading south, I caught a glimpse of orange on the horizon before turning to head west.  I glanced in the sideview mirror in time to see it become a solid fiery line, as if nature took a highlighter to separate the earth and sky.  Everything above began as pale blue, and the stars struggled to radiate as they fought a losing battle with the sun.

Sunrise always makes me feel as if night never happened.

Side bar:  I am an insomniac.  I rarely go to bed before midnight, and it’s usually 2 am before I fall asleep.  Even then, it’s a restless sleep.  I never sleep well…at night.  For some reason, I can stretch out on the bed after the sun comes up and get the best sleep.  Mid-day naps are my friend.  But night time is not for sleeping.  It’s for driving, cleaning, talking, thinking, planning, writing…  or tossing and turning.  Anyway…back to my drive.

Pre-holiday traffic filled the highway, and I was grateful for the slowdown as it gave me time to see the frost on the grass, fog hovering over the lake, and marvel at trees lining the route showing off their fall brilliance.

After a couple hours, it was time for breakfast and much-needed, long-overdue coffee.

The diner was in full-swing when I walked in.  Morning regulars mixed with pre-holiday travelers.  The noise in diners always seems different in the morning.  Softer.  Muted.  It’s as if the smell of freshly-brewed coffee muffles the sounds of voices and plates and silverware.  Old pilots sit at many of these tables, smelling of aftershave and flirting with the waitresses.  The service is prompt, but the pace feels slow.  Relaxed.  Morning.

Breakfast is also my favorite meal of the day.  Let me rephrase that.  Breakfast foods are my favorite.  I just rarely eat them at breakfast time.  I happily order my sunny-side-up eggs, burnt bacon, hash browns with a side of cream gravy and pancakes.  While sipping coffee from the diner mug (God I LOVE diner mugs!), I peruse the jam/jelly caddy.

This brings back a happy childhood memory.  My family took summer road trips.  When we would stop to eat breakfast, my sister and I would immediately check out the basket of available jams and jellies.  There were always the usual suspects… strawberry and grape, but occasionally we would find an apple jelly, orange marmalade, or peach, apricot or blackberry preserves.  These were rarities, and we would pull them aside, sometimes fighting over who would get the only exotic flavor.  And no one every wanted “Mixed Fruit”.  I always wondered why they picked the worst fruit to make into jelly.

I was excited to find not only a Peach Jelly, but a Seedless Blackberry Jam in my caddy… Oh Happy Day!  I called the waitress over and changed my pancakes to biscuits.  I was now looking forward to biscuits with jelly more than anything else on my plate.

My food arrived, and after stopping just short of full, I gleefully spread my prized finds onto open biscuits and, in between sips of “want-me-to-warm-that-up-for-you-Sugar?” coffee,  did the happy dance in my chair.

As I type this, it is nearly 3 pm.  I feel a nap is in my immediate future.