Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Waking Up the House

Sunlight peeks shyly through the bedroom curtains. Although it still looks gray and dreary, my clock says it is 7:30 am, and past time to be awake. I look the window: a dusting of snow covers yesterday's muddy remains of Sunday's snow, the sky hangs low and threatens more snow to come. I turn on a lamp and bump Larry's shoulder.

"Time to get up!" I say, and he replies with a mumble and pulls the covers over his head.

It is usually like this in the morning; I get up ready to roll; Larry needs more sleep than I do and wants to hang in the bed as long as possible. When he does hit the floor, he's a ball of energy, but waking up is not his favorite part of the day.

I get my robe and leave him to the bed. One by one I turn on the lights. Our house is not wired in that convenient turn-on-one-switch-and-all-the-lights-in-a-room-come-on way. The friend who did the wiring did it for free and did it fast and simple so each lamp and light must be turned on individually.

Golden light seeps into dark corners as each room wakes up.


I stop in front of the sliding glass door to close the door. Charlie the orange-and-white cat, who wanted out at 6:00am, has apparently let herself in again. To watch this small cat pull open a heavy wood-framed glass door is real entertainment, but she does it, so we have to remember to lock the door if we want it to stay shut. Forget, and the house gets a brisk airing-out whether we want it or not.

Outside, I see the dogs standing on the porch steps. I would feel flattered that they are anxious to see me, but I know they are really looking for Larry, He Who Feeds Them. As soon as they hear movement in the house, they leave their cozy sleeping place under the log room and stand at attention by the steps. I try to tell them that He is still in bed, but they pay no attention to me. They are looking beyond me into the house.

Snow blows lightly around in the yard; even the snowbirds look chilled to their tiny bones. It's not a fit day for man or beast. I turn away from the door and turn on the kitchen lights. My favorites are the small lamp by the sink that bathes the counter in yellow; the other is the amber "grape" lamp from the 50's that adds to the golden glow. I pick up Irene, the huge aluminum kettle and fill her with water. The Tappan adds blue to the morning light as the gas flares. My pretty green German teacup and saucer, Larry's hefty brown mug for coffee, the yellow Hall teapot with its insulating cover and the Starbucks stainless steel coffee press all stand ready on the counter.

The water boils. The smell of coffee fills the house. Larry stirs; his feet pad across the bedroom floor.

"Good morning!" he calls.


He walks to the door to greet the dogs who are now beside themselves with joy. Their barking starts the rooster crowing.

The house is awake. The day begins.

Copyright Susanna Holstein. All rights reserved. No Republication or Redistribution Allowed without attribution to Susanna Holstein.

2 comments:

Nance said...

I'm a riser like Larry. You make the coffee and I'll get up to greet the dogs and the day : ) Enjoyed this post.

Janet, said...

Nothing more soothing than a house waking up in the morning. I love the white lamp in the second picture. I love lamps and recently bought two at Fenton when they had them discounted at 70% off. (couldn't help myself)

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