An early appointment this morning had me rising before dawn.

Colin & Penny conspired to deprive me of the reduced amount of sleep I may have had.

Penny curled up comfortably by my feet. My bed is huge, but when Colin came to join us, he placed himself so that, by extending a paw, he could poke her.

The ensuing, long-lasting squabble kept me awake till the small hours. Why did I not just persuade one of them to leave? See Cat counter-psychology 101… I’ve no idea.

When my alarm went off I had just settled in to a nice sleep and I moaned, but then I remembered all the years that I had done this voluntarily, to start my shift at 0530.

Traffic on Long Island was a problem even back in 1969 when I joined the airline. Back then, I had an afternoon shift which meant that under normal circumstances, I could drive from Syosset to JFK without getting hung up.

Working evenings suited me fine, but when I was given a temporary promotion, I got to sample life on the morning shift and I never wanted to go back!

With everything, of course, there is a trade-off, and to enjoy working “mornings” I had to deal with traffic. The alternative being to rise really early and beat the rush.

In 1977 I moved from Syosset and lived, over the years in Lynbrook, Long Beach and Mineola which brought me much closer to work, but as I think I pointed out in yesterday’s post, I am a compulsive “early arriver”. In addition to which, I enjoyed being alone in the office because I could things done.

And also check out the sort of day that lay ahead. It was always helpful to get a head start when things seemed to be “going south”.

So for many years I rose at 0330, and got to welcome in the day, Summer and Winter.

It’s addictive.

There is something so special about that time, just before dawn, when a faint light appears on the skyline and the world is silent, as if holding its breath.

Night creatures have retired, birds are not yet awake. PEACE.

Then the ribbon of light turns crimson as the sun begins its climb to the horizon and the dawn chorus tunes up.


As we drove to the appointment my head was twisting about as if on a swivel-stick, and I kept wanting Grant to stop so I could take more photographs. Maybe next time I have an early appointment I’ll rise earlier so I have time to do just that. The World looks so good at dawn.

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