The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

May 22, 2013

Talking early risers

By Peggy Goodrich, columnist
Enid News and Eagle

— Are you an early riser? Think about it.

You know if you are or not, so it doesn’t take much thought to know what you are. My grandma was always an early bird. She got up and dressed at 5:30 every morning every day of her life, without an alarm clock. I asked her once why even in her later years, when she had no chores to do or kids to get off to school or projects going, why she still got up so early. She said that she did that so that she had time to take a good nap each morning. To her, that made perfect sense. She just could not change a lifelong habit of getting up with the sun.

Daddy used to also get up and start early. He thought it was the best time of the day. He thought sleeping late was just “burning daylight.” Everything is fresh and ready to go in the early hours. The horses worked better in the cool of the day and one could accomplish a lot. However, we must remember that back then people went to bed at sundown. They also got up with the sunrise. Those roosters knew when the best time of day was.

Somehow, I inherited that same philosophy. All those years when I worked at an office, I liked to get up early and work in the yard or get right at a project I had going, before I showered and went to work and was never late.

Retirement changed me. Now, I like to go to bed late and get up late. It is one of the luxuries of getting old. We can sleep in if we so choose. If I have an appointment or meeting or something fun to do, I get up early and am raring to go, but for the other days, I am lazy.

Mornings are so refreshing. The birds sing so bright and cheerful and they scurry around, starting their day. It is such a pleasure to watch them at the feeders (we have many feeders and many, many birds to watch). They are so fun to listen to. The air feels fresher and cooler in the early morning hours when we can sit on the patio and have our coffee, and greet the day with peace and quiet except for the sounds of nature.

These habits started long before air conditioning came into being. Having controlled temperatures has now altered our thinking and planning. It is no longer necessary to do all the canning or working in the cool of the morning. Standing over a hot wood stove to make jelly or cook corn or tomatoes or green beans to can no longer is needed. My, how air conditioning has changed us. And electric ranges that don’t heat the entire room also have made canning easier.

People who are early risers have difficulty understanding how a person can begin a long project in the evening that will take them way into the night to complete. According to the new trends, nighttime is our new frontier. So many people don’t even venture out during the daylight hours. All their work and play is done after the sun goes down and the moon comes out. Boy, how they all begin to shout! (Does that sound like a familiar song to you?) I, for one, like to be inside all cozy when night falls, especially in the winter.

As Jim and I get older and older, we enjoy staying home more and more. We truly enjoy our retirement and the quiet evenings at home. Be it ever so humble, there is no place like it!

I am glad we traveled when we could. We knew the day would come when we would be unable to go as many places as often, so we traveled a lot. Now, we talk about our trips and remember those good times with pictures and stories.

I can remember when I was in school and my wonderful math teachers, Miss Cunningham and Miss Zoldoske, wanted their pupils to schedule algebra classes early in the day. They thought we were fresher then and our brains worked better. I think they were right. I always did well in math subjects and I always took those classes first thing in the morning when I could think best. For some, it may have been just that they got it over with before their real day started. I cannot speak for them, but I know how early mornings worked for me then, and still do.

Isn’t it great that we all don’t want to do the same things at the same time? Jim goes to physical rehab four times a week. He has a particular time that he enjoys going. Others have their best time, too. It would sure be crowded if we all chose to arrive at the very same time. All those machines would flip their breakers! And everyone would feel rushed instead of relaxed.

In Mother’s stuff, I found a yellowed clipping of a little poem by Anon, that must have said how she felt, or maybe Mother just found it amusing. Anyway, I love it and share it with you. Is this the way you feel sometimes?

“My disposition wins no prize.

“I’m really not stand-offy,

“So speak to me only with thine eyes

“Until I’ve had my coffee.”

There is nothing that brightens a morning like a great cup of coffee and muffins. You can make them ahead of time and heat them a few seconds in the microwave.



Carrot/Pineapple Muffins

1 cup liquid shortening

2 cups sugar

3 eggs, beaten

21⁄2 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon cinnamon

2 teaspoons vanilla

2 cups grated carrots

1 cup chopped pecans

1 cup crushed pineapple, drained



Combine shortening, sugar and eggs. Sift dry ingredients and add to egg mixture. Stir in remaining ingredients and fill lined muffin cups two-thirds full. Bake at 350 degrees about 25 minutes until lightly browned. Makes about two dozen large muffins.



Send your comments to: Peggy Goodrich, Food For Thought, P.O. Box 1192, Enid, OK 73702.