Monday, 08 July 2019 20:29

COLUMN: Morning musings from a non-morning person

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I have been accused of a lot of things in the half-century I have been on this earth, but I have never been accused of being a morning person. I don't hate mornings, per se, but I will admit they are not high on my list of things I enjoy. 

I usually write this column in the evenings, after dinner, and as I am winding down for the day. It's a relaxing time, after a full day, two rush hours, incessantly ringing telephones and people asking me questions. Mornings are usually hectic — waking up, getting showered and dressed, breakfasted and out the door only to realize my coffee cup is still on the kitchen counter. Mornings are reserved for obnoxious television personalities and their chipper chatter between news stories. Mornings are reserved for radio disk jockeys and their patented brand of morning humor. I am neither on television or radio. Mornings are not designed for the newspaper columnist. 

I have the day off today, so I am writing this column in the morning. It's a holiday, so there is not much going on. My wife is still asleep and my daughter, who recently moved back home, is probably asleep. There are three cats in our house now, and I have it under reasonable authority they are sleeping as well. I guess I should be sleeping, but it's quiet in the house and I can take the time to put together a few words for the newspaper. I don't believe I have written a column in the morning before, and it's quite a bit different from my evening work time. For one, the deadline is not as close. The pressure to compose a quality column in a short time is just not there. My critics (you know who you are) will argue I have never written a quality column. I like the rush of having to get something in at the last minute. This leisurely writing just isn't for me. 

I have had a bowl of cereal and I am working on a big mug of coffee. Music is playing at a low volume and I am pecking away at my laptop keyboard. There are no distractions. Well, so far there are no distractions. It's only a matter of time before the neighbor fires up her loud Corvette and speeds off to work. I am usually gone before she is in the morning, but I hear my wife mention it. I am thinking about getting rid of all the clocks in the house and replacing them with the sound of the neighbor's car. We hear it twice a day, once in the morning and once in the evening. All we need is for her to come home a couple of times a day and we have an accurate, Detroit-made, 400-horsepower timepiece.

My wife watches a neighbor's baby most days, but with this being a holiday, the little one is not here. I imagine it would be quite a challenge trying to write a newspaper column while a teething baby let the world know she was quite uncomfortable. We have had the little girl here a few times in the evening, and when it comes time for the column to be written, Cooper and I hide in a bedroom and work on it together. You can tell when we do, because that's when the Cooper columns get written. 

I am awake and alert. Outside, it is already hot and sticky. Inside, it's cool and quiet and, with the shades pulled, I am shut off from the outside world. I have a pot of coffee and a big piece of coffee cake and I am good to go. 

Once I get the column written, I don't have much else to do today. The weather guy on television said it was going to be nice today, but very hot and humid. It's summer in North Carolina, so I don't know why he has to tell us it's gonna be hot and humid. From April to October, it's hot and humid here. It's a holiday weekend, so we'll all have some time off to relax. 

If you see me out and about, be sure to say hello. If you see me out and about while grilling in your backyard, be sure to say hello and remember, I like my burgers rare.