Saturday, June 25, 2011

Varying Sleeping Patterns

Hearing raindrops on our bedroom window, it was lovely to turn over and continue sleeping. It had been a busy week requiring me to go to bed earlier and get up earlier than usual, so I really appreciated returning to my usual late uprising. (This is the reason I have not blogged this week because I write at night.) Gerald had long before left to drive to Jonesboro to have breakfast with his brother Garry and wife Ginger and to pick up a boat motor he had repaired down there.

Although we have many commonalities, Gerald and I have completely different body rhythms. By 9 p.m., he is ready to go to sleep (unless he is at a granddaughter’s softball game), and he is likely to wake up any time between 3 and 6 a.m. even if he did go to a ball game. Sleeping to 7 a.m. is extremely unusual for him.

When we were dating, I’d go in to the dorm at the required hour and then stay up late studying. Gerald would go to bed at his place and get up at an early morning hour to study. So we knew we had this difference, but figured we could manage it. Actually children managed it for us. Getting four kids on the school bus made an early riser out of me whether I wanted to be or not—no matter how many times I might have gotten up with a waking child during the night.

As soon as I retired in 1998 after my very brief out-of-home career, I started learning to use the Internet. This was before Facebook, but I became hooked immediately because of unexpected contact with some distant relatives who had all the answers I had wanted to know about my Martin family roots.

At this time, Gerald who had just retired from farming, decided to become a truck driver—a childhood ambition that had been whetted by owning trucks to haul hogs or crops from the field. Not full-time truck driver in retirement but almost a hobby one because he enjoyed the entire activity so much. He spent hours on the phone with his buddy Richard Hays talking trucks and how to somehow convert a 14-wheeler to carry the same load as a 16-wheeler or something like that which I never fully understood but knew gave Gerald great pleasure and satisfaction. He loved his new truck with all the embellishments he created, and to this day when we take a trip, he reminisces about hauling something back in the mountains there or to such and such a business in some city.

He continued trucking until we built our retirement home here at the farm, where he did all the dirt work. (He also loves to move dirt.) Watching his Peterbilt go down our lane when he sold it was a sad event for him, and meeting up with it on the highway brought him joy.

But I digress. Trucking required his getting up very early to be at the proper place at the designated time, so he might arise at 2 or 2:30 a.m. which was not difficult for him to do. (I think he liked this confirmation that these were proper wake-up times.) Tracing down my family roots after a day of homemaking required me to stay up late—maybe till 2 or 3 a.m. The time he got up to go trucking and came into the office to tell me goodbye as I was just preparing to sign off the Internet and go to bed illustrated our different body rhythms perfectly. Somehow we tolerate our differences and try not to be smug about our ability to stay up late or to wake up early.

Our neighbors Winnie and Jay were back fishing at the lake on Thursday, and yesterday morning, Winnie called to tell me they were bringing over all the fish they caught—all cleaned and dressed ready for frying or the freezer. I tell them that is not at all necessary, but I would be dishonest if I did not say it is a lovely gift.

When granddaughter Erin showed up to do some laundry in the late afternoon, I was especially glad I had not frozen the fish yet and was able to fry some for our supper. We were very glad to see Erin since she tore her ACL muscle at her first slow pitch softball game—her recreation of choice for this summer. The next day she was working on crutches, but she was walking without them now. She’d had an MRI, saw the surgeon, and her surgery is set for Tuesday. We were eager to see her in person and hear all the doctor had told her. And, of course, Gerald and I both were able to get in a few questions about her new boyfriend.

When I did get up today, I did my Saturday morning routine and read a bit in the book I had to close last night and decided I really should blog since I have neglected that this week. Gerald phoned that he and Garry are over in Cape or Sikeston, and that they’d be eating there. So I don’t have a meal prep until this evening. Now maybe I can finish that book. I have another one to stay up reading tonight.

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