This morning, the alarm on my iPhone went off at 6:05 AM. When it made that familiar sound, I reached out and touched the word “stop” on the display screen to silence it. I habitually sleep on my side, but after I shut off the alarm, I always end up on my back.
Every morning, just before this happens, my cat, Alisha, has her own plans. She will sit at the base of the bed, wait for that sound, see that I’ve rolled over on my back, and will bound forward.
Alisha’s goal is to rest on my left shoulder while purring and occasionally digging in her claws. I actually don’t mind this too much. I’ve reasoned that this is insurance that I won’t drift off to sleep again.
About that time, my neighbor, Tom, usually takes off for work. His car needs a new muffler, although I’m certainly not complaining about it. The sound is within the legal limit, and is yet another layer of insurance, telling me to get my kiester out of bed.
When I rise, I greet “my second wife,” by gently detaching her claws from my shoulder and head off to the kitchen.
Through sleepy eyes, I manage to press the button on the coffee maker. I then pivot, walk over to the dishwasher, open it up, and pull out the treasured blue and white coffee mug. It is on the top rack. This was gifted to me for Christmas by my “first wife,” Jeanne. I don’t know why. (The mug has the silhouette of a cat on it as well as the words “I love my cat and my cat loves me.”)
I move the mug over to the coffee maker and set it on the counter. I take a single packet stevia from the small green bowl on top of the microwave, open it, and empty its contents into the cup. Next, I fetch and add some non-dairy creamer.
I place the container into the microwave for 22 seconds, pull it out, add coffee, and stir with a spoon.
With my morning brew in hand, I find a seat in the living room.
I then thank God for yet another day.
I think this last item is the most important in my early morning routine.
Walter is pastor of Immanuel Lutheran Church and has served as parish pastor for more than 25 years.