Today is the final day for proofing What’s Up? Eastern Shore before it goes to press. By late tonight they’ll start printing out the pages. Each time a magazine is produced, it’s like birthing a child. On days like this I eat my breakfast at the office.
Although I am focused at the tasks at hand, I can’t help but reflect that today many voters around the nation will be casting the ballots in the Super Tuesday Primary Election. History is being made as the playing field of candidates continues to narrow. Next week is the Maryland Primary. Will the races still be close?
Not many people at the coffee shop this morning. “They must be recovering from last night’s game,” theorized my neighbor John Hartnet. It was Super bowl Sunday last night but as the evening rolled on I was glued to my TV set watching Masterpiece Theater. This week’s episode was a screenplay about Jane Austen’s life, based largely on speculation. Was she disappointed she never married? Was she ever in love? Did she despise being poor? Unfortunately her sister Cassandra burned the majority of her personal letters and papers, so we can only guess.
I heard the birds singing loudly as we walked back towards the house. It’s funny how some mornings my ears zero in on their calls and songs back and forth to one another. That’s something I like about spring morning, lying in bed with the windows open and listening to the singing birds. But it’s not spring yet, still winter with maybe a blanket of snow still in our future. We’ll see what arrives. That’s what fun about life, the surprises.
Climbing out of bed in the dark, particularly on a Monday morning, is not easy. I consider myself a morning person, I love to be out walking when the sun rises, but in the middle of winter my schedule requires that I’m up and out before sun-up. It’s cold and dark. My scarf is wrapped tightly around the collar of my jacket to keep the cold from creeping down inside my neck. But our dog Grace is exuberant to be out and walking towards downtown. She’s part of the reason we are up and on the move first thing in the morning. What did we do without a dog?
Well there are the children, but two are already out of the house. Alex is standing out waiting for the school bus that takes her to the high school at 6:34. She waits until the very last minute to walk out the door and checks the time on her cell phone. “It’s satellite time,” she informs me, “So it’s the most accurate.” Evidently she is wise to the fact that I try to set all the clocks in the house a little ahead, because most members of our family have a tendency to run late.
Grace stays asleep in her spot on one of the unoccupied beds or under the dining room table until she is certain my husband Peter and I are ready to be on our way. She dances anxiously about as only a golden retriever can, wanting to be petted and wanting us to open the door so she can go outside.
The sky is still dark and the moon has been cut in half. I start walking ahead because I’m so cold I have to keep moving at a brisk pace. Everyone has put out their garbage and recycling for collection. Up ahead sitting on the curb is a large and grand poinsettia plant. Evidently purchased for the holidays, the owners have grown tired of it and have put it outside with the garbage, What a waste. I’m tempted to take it home, but I’m already halfway downtown and I really don’t have space for another large plant, plus I’m not that diligent in caring for the plants that I have. Many of my poinsettias have died from temporary neglect. But I certainly wouldn’t put a healthy looking one out in the cold. Ah well….
Looking down Main Street towards the water, I can see a little smudging of purple and pink in the sky, but it’s still mostly dark gray. Three tall cranes, part of the work project down at City Dock, are silhouetted in the sky.
On the return home, Peter, Grace and I walk together and we talk about our plans for the day and the week. The sky is still gray, and there aren’t many people walking the streets this morning. The hot coffee tastes great going down my throat. Something about the contrast between the cold and the hot is so comforting.
It’s the start of the week.