I am a morning person. When I taught, I would get up at 4:30 AM, ride my bike for 3 to 5 miles, and then get ready to leave for school at 6:30. The kids arrived at 9. Nowadays, I wake up without an alarm, (my concession to retirement self-indulgence) and lie in bed until maybe 5 or 5:30.
This morning is different. I awake at 6, on the sofa in my living room. My bed and fold out couch are full of Australians. I love my Aussies! Thirty five years ago, my former spouse and I hosted a funny, beautiful, high-spirited “sev’ndeen” year-old girl as an exchange student. She has remained in our lives ever since, and she has a permanent chamber in my heart.
Jen is visiting me in North Carolina for the second year in a row. How lucky am I? She has brought along her two sons, who are equally as lively and witty as their mother. I adore them. In a few minutes, my tiny walls will echo with boy-laughs as Hattie and Beedle jump on their beds and awaken them. The boys will wrap themselves in the afghans I crocheted for them and shriek at the cat-dog leaping and licking and the “drama in Pet Town,” as young Jack calls it.
For now, I will lie here in the early morning quiet, and listen to the whistle of the morning train going across the overpass about a mile from my tiny house. It is a good sound. Normally, it marks the beginning of my day. They call it a “lonesome” whistle, but my life is anything but.