Monday, December 31, 2007


The aroma circles my head settling in my breath as I push deeper into my pillow; truly the perfect beginning to the day marking the year’s end. It will be the second to last day that I do not have to push myself out of bed in darkness to start the family rising. In two more days, I will resume the position of First Up, nudging the cold, dark house to life. First Up is the person who bumps up the heat, makes the coffee, lets the dogs out, uncovers the cooing birds and breaks open a new day. Today, I hear that the day is broken already.

I lay, eyes closed but awake, body still in deep relax, anticipating rising after the sun to a warm house and cup of coffee waiting. I breathe deeply the coffee aroma and am happy that my husband is First Up. Brad has always been close to nocturnal, a late night man whose morning skills are sketchy. This morning, however, the coffee is on and all is right with the world.

“Damn it!” I hear him burst from downstairs, a string of mutterings following. I imagine Tyler has finished the last of the OJ, left the freezer door open or some other typical teenage move that has him grumbling. I keep my eyes closed tight, determined to be unfettered by the disturbance. I hear clanking and rustling in the kitchen, more mutterings and I pull the covers up a little higher.

Heavy feet on the stairs and Brad enters our room for a few last items. “Honey, I made a big mess and I’m late and I don’t have time to clean it, I’m really sorry. I laid paper towels down… I love you, Bye.” And he is gone. My body is cooperating under the covers but my mind is ticking; ‘Big mess.’ I wonder exactly how big and will it grow bigger if I leave it for a while?

My old dog begins to pace, click, click, click across the floor. I know this pace. It is the I really need to pee but would never ever disturb you Mom so I’ll be right here when you are ready pace. The little dog pushes out from under his blanket on his bed, shaking his body awake with that ear slapping sound that says, I f I’m up, we’re all up. He begins to scratch rapidly on the side of my bed and I notice the loud cooing downstairs has evolved to squawking.

The chill of the air hits me as I make my way down the stairs and I realize that the heat was not bumped up. Out with the dogs, up with the heat and I lift the cover off the birds. At least the coffee is made. In the kitchen, the island is pushed to one side of the room and a long row of paper towels runs down the center; a brown river following the tile grout line. The coffee aroma fills the room and it is clear the Mr. Morning forgot to put the pot under the coffee maker. A basket of pens and pencils sits on a stack of paper towels and some bills are lying beside the sink. I pick up the wet brown paper towels. Detecting the coffee is still warm, I wonder if the floor is clean enough for a sip. I start a new pot and realize that some people are just meant to be First Up and I am one of them.


Eileen said...

So true, so true. There are some routines that are just not meant to be messed with, despite good intentions. I came out one morning, after David started the coffee, to coffee grounds that exploded all over the kitchen. Not sure how he did that, but they covered the coffee pot, floor, counter, etc. At least there is always the smell, you can't beat the smell of fresh brewed coffee, despite the messes.
A very funny post, one I can relate with very well.

Carrie Wilson Link said...

I love this - I giggled. I love that your husband TRIED, and that he ADMITTED his failings, but let's put him in charge of something less crucial, shall we? There is no room for error with that first cup! I love that you wondered it if were clean enough to take a sip! TELL me the grout it not white!

Carrie Wilson Link said...

P.S. Love your new profile and your list of blogs! Take an A!

Deb said...

I'm impressed that you were so calm about the coffee. I'm not sure I could have been calm until after the coffee, and I was right there with you considering whether to get that first hit right off the floor. Thanks for starting my year off with a good laugh!

Jenny said...

Oh, my. This is too funny. I'm not a First Upper, so I admire all you morning people!

Terry Whitaker said...

This is terrific! I have the same click clicking of the old dog, the same uncovering of the bird--I was dreading the outcome of what waited downstairs with you every step of the way.

Kapuananiokalaniakea said...

I'm First Up too and have that mix of joy and dread when someone else decides to try to trade places. Loved that you considered taking a sip of coffee from the floor -- my floors are not even CLOSE to allowing that consideration to even enter my mind!
Beautifully written. I could smell the coffee and feel the covers and hear the dogs -- and that is EXACTLY the way they communicate.
Thank you for the glimpse into your morning.