The cold hard rain hit the metal gutters on our townhouse, and woke me this morning. It's not the perfect start to the first day of Spring, but that's okay. The Spring equinox was a little after midnight last night, and this morning, March 20, 2018 is the beginning of Spring, no matter what the weather is. Even a forecast of snow tomorrow, cannot dampen my enthusiasm for this time of year.
I roll out of bed, splash some water on my eyes, get dressed and head down the stairs. I hear one of the little girls that live next door crying. She is maybe 4, and this is part of her morning ritual.
Mine starts with getting a glass of water to drink and taking my antacid pill. On the way to the kitchen I check the thermostat - It's 65 degrees, so I push it up, and hear the gas furnace switch on and then a few seconds later blow wonderfully warm air through the vents.
I want to just stand by one of the vents and reduce the chill in my body, but I must continue onto the kitchen. Once there, I fill my glass with water from the faucet. I then fill a small plastic cup with water and dump it into the reservoir of the single cup coffee maker - 2, 3, 4 times to almost fill it. I plug in the coffee maker and turn it on. It comes on with a blue light displaying the cool clean water inside.
Out the window, I see the rain pounding our small wooden deck. Beyond that is the bird feeder, newly filled with seed to attract the birds back from wherever they may have spent the winter. A couple of finches have found their way to the feeder, and they're feasting, despite the rain. At last, the first real sign of Spring! I can hear their chirping through the closed window.
The kitchen has a nice large vent over the window, and the warm air coming from it feels so good, but I must abandon this most comfortable place for now, and return to the living room with my glass of water.
I sit on the sofa and down an acid controller pill with several sips of water. By drinking a full glass of water first thing in the morning, I figure it helps me re-hydrate, and I read that the Japanese believe it is a very healthy practice. As I sip away at the water, I normally pull out my writing book and try to jot down some pre-coffee thoughts (1). It's difficult because my thoughts often stray to what will be coming up next – namely, the coffee ceremony.
I stay disciplined though, slowly sip my water, adding anticipation for what is to come. “If you drink it too fast you'll feel bloated”, I reminded myself.
I take my time as I write these words, and then I will take my last sip of water (2).
Okay, I finished my water, now back to the kitchen. I look out the kitchen window. The rain is still coming down hard, but two more finches are out there. One, with black and white markings, is on the feeder and the other, a solid brownish color, is on the lawn.
The several daffodils in the yard, that have bloomed already, have bowed their flowers in deference to the life giving rain, and to the coffee ceremony about to begin.
I tear off a paper towel and place the lid of my coffee mug on it. My large stainless steel insulated YETI mug just fits in the tray of the single serve coffee maker. I grab my usual medium-dark roast k-cup as I hear several birds happily chirping outside in approval. I place the k-cup into it's holder by opening the top of the coffee maker. When I close the top, lights blink on the various option buttons. I select the STRONG and 12 ounce cup size buttons.
The brewing process starts with a hiss, followed by a delicate stream of partly transparent, partly opaque copperish colored liquid, which flows into the welcoming cylinder below. I quickly stick my nose as close as I dare to the stream, and breath in the wondrous aroma of this fountain.
I peak out the window. A female cardinal, with red beak, has joined the finches. She is playing in a puddle on the lawn.
Back to the brewing, the silver cylinder is slowly filling with the precious liquid elixir that promises to wake every sleeping synapse in this sluggish brain. With one last snake-like hiss, the last of the liquid is expelled, and the process stops. I pull out the mug and stare into the now totally black colored liquid inside. I take a small sip, being careful not to burn my tongue. It is strong and bold, a perfect brew for the morning.
Someday, I may learn to drink my coffee black, but I'm not there yet. I'm addicted to the French vanilla creamer with sugar in it. My taste bugs insist on that little bit of sweetness along with the coffee flavor. I pour in a little creamer, stir, and then taste it. “Good, but maybe just a little more” , I think. I pour some more creamer in and taste again. “Yes, that's it. Perfect.”, I say, and my taste buds agree. I take a few more sips, and then place the top on my YETI mug, which will keep the coffee hot.
I need to eat with my coffee, so I decide on a muffin. I grab a honey raisin bran muffin, stick it on a plate, cut it in half, and pop it into the microwave for 30 seconds. Next I get the Kerrygold Pure Irish Butter out of the refrigerator. You know, the one with the picture of the contented looking cow, eating grass, on the package. I hope that cow and all the folks over in Ireland had a good St. Patrick's Day. I have some relatives over there that I've never met.
Yoko is awake now, and she's joined me in the kitchen. She starts to make her mug of coffee, and I get to smell that sweet aroma all over again. What a treat!
My muffin is ready, and I slice off a generous amount of butter and spread it over the two halves sitting on the plate. I know it's a lot of butter, but I remind myself that I'm getting all the healthy Omega 3 fats that those cows produced when they ate that grass and passed it on to make this butter.
The activity has picked up at the bird feeder. There are several finches there now, fighting for a spot to get their share of seed.
The butter has melted on my muffin, I have my mug in hand, and I'm ready to start a coffee-injected writing session.
Happy first day of Spring ! And Top o' the morning to y'all !
(1) Of course, today is a little different. I had decided last night that I would write about my morning routine this morning, real time as it was happening. So that is what you are reading (sort of).
(2) I quickly realized that you can't really write about what you're doing and do it at the same time, so I think it might have been better if I had narrated my thoughts and actions real time into a sound recorder, and then played back the recording and wrote from that. Maybe next time.
Short Pump, VA
Spring is here! Enjoy the snow!