The alarm went off as usual...
"Goood morning!" it sang to us.
Next to me, J stirred and exhaled a deep sigh.
We both felt mostly used to the new schedule.
The work schedule requiring him to wake at 4:30 AM, or 4:45 AM so that he could leave for work between 5:00 and 5:10 AM and arrive in Denver on time.
Some mornings though, are proving more difficult than others.
He rolled out of bed as I snuggled deeper into the lumpy fluff of our mattress and was promptly sunk into the center of the bed... the hole which we both fought not to fall into during the night.
"I'm gonna', take five more minutes," I murmured to him.
"Okay Darlin'. You don't have to get up, you know," he said soothingly.
"Yes I do. I want our porch time," I replied groggily.
"Okay," he said quietly, pulling on his work clothes before popping in to brush his teeth.
I slipped back into the gray, warm, blanket of nothingness.
The sound of the icebox door popping closed roused me from my doze.
I blew out some air with effort and rolling around like a turtle on its back, I managed to swing my legs over the depths of our bed which is lumpy and sags in the center.
Our mattress is over 15 years old. Most mattresses only last about 10 years.
It's a pillow top that I bought on sale in college, it had been the floor model of a discontinued mattress. A floor model for 5 years, which is why I got such a great deal at the time.
The mattress tried to pull my butt back into its folds as I waggled my legs a bit, trying to get my toes to the floor.
Being pregnant, my once tiny waist (no matter my overall weight fluctuation) has disappeared and now a soccer ball has taken up residence.
I padded into the bathroom and brushed my teeth, then pulled on a plaid flannel shirt and sweatpants in the dark of our bedroom.
Opening the door into the kitchen, the hinges creaked loudly.
The tiny light over the sink was on and the kitties were munching their breakfast happily in the small fading edges of its pool of yellow.
The rest of the house was still quite dark.
The tea kettle glowed - bone coloured with blue flames dancing on low beneath its ceramic belly.
I poured myself a cup of decaffeinated Lady Grey tea and added a dollop of Almond milk; not waiting for the bag to steep.
I grabbed a sweatshirt from the rack, and eased open the front door, pushing the red wooden screen open with my foot as I pulled the heavy old wooden one closed behind me.
J was sitting on the porch swing; steam rising from the cup of black coffee between his palms, his head tilted back and his eyes closed, he had a faint, yet tired smile on his lips.
Feeling a little light-headed, I took a deep breath of the delightfully cool morning air.
It was still inky and dark outside; the freshness of the morning evoking a feeling of clouds and rain.
The trees in our front yard were just barely beginning to show their crooked outlines against the stark backlit glow; beginning sunrise in the sky.
I exhaled and stepped over to the swing. Without opening his eyes J stopped the gentle rocking with his foot as I snuggled down next to him, laying my head on his shoulder.
"I'm tired," I said yawning.
"You don't need to get up with me," he said, sipping his coffee.
"I don't mind getting up early. Besides, once I'm awake, I'm up for at least an hour," I said, continuing with, "I just mean I didn't sleep well last night. I couldn't get comfortable."
"I know what you mean. It was strange last night, I couldn't fall asleep," he offered.
"I'm anxious about getting a new bed," I said.
"I know. It feels like a big deal," he murmured.
"Our bed is old and past its expiration date, but... it's a lot of change," I whispered.
"Yes it is, but I think it will be worth it for us both to be comfortable. Besides, the one we're looking at lasts 20 years at least, right?" he said smiling.
After a few moments, he finished his coffee and stood up, stretching his long arms high.
"All right Darlin', I gotta' go," he said, pulling me up off the swing into a hug.
A warm kiss and then he was off to work.
I watched him pull out of the driveway and gently accelerate down the street.
Picking up our cups, I slipped back inside the house, leaning against the door to shut it behind me, feeling the screen door slam outside.
I rinsed our cups in the sink and then leaned back, bracing myself against it and arching my spine.
Suddenly, I felt a headache coming on. The edges of it were inching around my ears and the nape of my neck, buzzing behind my eyes and temples unpleasantly.
With a frustrated sigh, I walked back into the living room and sank on to our big green couch; wrapping the three generations quilt around me.
Propping my head against the round sofa arm, I closed my eyes.
No morning walk today.