Back to blogging....been a bit busy with our Thanksgiving Holiday and just trying to stay awake now that I'm back in my routine but more about that later. I was thinking about "dark morning" this morning at the crack of dawn...actually pre-dawn--my alarm goes off at 5:30 a.m. and it's pretty dark for a good hour or so while I'm getting ready for work.
When I was much younger, we used to call this time "dark morning", me and my brother. Usually the only time we were awake at this time was when we were leaving on a trip and getting up at this time was pretty exciting to us. Our parents, for some reason, never traveled like ordinary people. They always had to leave on trips about 3:00 or4:00 in the morning and get on the road, no matter if we were leaving for vacation or coming home from one.
When I grew up and starting questioning "things", I never quite understood this concept of leaving so early. Before a trip, you are excited and usually find it hard to go to sleep. Getting up at this time might get you to your destination at a more decent time in the afternoon/evening BUT you feel like crap during the day while traveling and not much better when you arrive. All you want to do is sleep which then messes up your sleep patterns for the next night or so. Having a late nap when arriving at the destination keeps you up late at night and again you are tired in the morning unless, of course, you sleep late. But who sleeps late on vacation?
You'll be happy to hear that I leave on trips at fairly normal times (unless I have to catch an early plane to save money). We get up, have breakfast, and try to be on the road, if driving, by 9 or 10 or so. We may drive a little later in the evening before stopping, but we're not crazy tired during the drive and we don't get our night and day sleep cycles mixed up.
Once we did try leaving in the late afternoon and driving all night but that didn't work so well. It was Christmas Day and after the presents were opened and the dinner eaten and all the kids went their respective ways, Papa and I decided to drive to New Orleans and get a start on our vacation rather than leaving the next morning.
Boy, that was a mistake. For one thing on Christmas, there is absolutely nothing open. I mean NOTHING. All the fast food places and all night gas stations you can usually count on are all dark and lifeless on Christmas night. Thankfully, there were some of those gas stations where you can use a charge card at the pump or we might have really been in a predicament. But when we got hungry for a late night snack---we were out of luck, because the stores that go with the gas stations were all shuttered and dark.
So we were driving to New Orleans and then we got tired and although we were trading off driving every 2-3 hours, we started arguing about having to do that. Neither one of us wanted to drive any more, we both just wanted sleep. Talk about some dangerous sleep deprived drivers, not only to ourselves but to others.
Finally during one of my bouts of driving, I decided I had had enough. It was too late to find a hotel, I was just looking for a lit parking lot or someplace safe to park and sleep until the sun came up. I finally found a rest area and parked, tilted the seat back and slept. Papa was none the wiser for some time but he didn't put up much of an argument when he discovered we were stopped for the night.
The next morning, we woke up to sunrise (like normal people albeit sleeping in a van), drove to the next exit and had a good breakfast and then finished our trip. Much to our delight New Orleans was less than 30 minutes down the road (we had no idea). But we learned a valuable lesson. We don't drive during the night and we don't get up at outrageous times ("dark morning") to leave. We want to be as pleasant as possible to each other when being cooped up in the car for hours on end and getting good sleep (and having regular meals) makes up both happy people. The most important thing is that we enjoy the trip in addition to the destination.
Anyhoo, I've spun off on another tangent. Maybe the reason we (my brother and I) were so enamored with "dark morning" was that it was tied to going somewhere. However, I also remember in early jr. high school, meeting up with Aunt Cracker at the church across the street from my house to watch the sun rise. How's that for racy! We thought it was something at our age, being out and about at 5 something a.m. before the sun came up. It was almost as good as staying out later than our curfew, if you squinted your eyes just right!
Now I just think it's hideous to get up before Mr. Sun and no one in their right minds should have to do this or BE MADE TO DO THIS. But alas, I enjoy the money my job brings and so I'll continue getting up in "dark morning" and watching the sun rise as I drive to work...