Flow Of the Day

I honor Dr. King by dedicating myself to my work.

This entry began during the 2008-2009 school year. I updated it during the summer but never finished. Now we’re half way through another school year, and it’s time to send it out into the world. My days develop a routine and when it’s broken I have problems.

Here’s the normal routine:

6:30 to 7 a.m. On many days Isis decides it’s time for her humans to get up and give her treats. This is after wake-up play at 4:30. I try to ignore her. Her favorite “alarm” method is to walk back and forth across the pillow purring loud enough to rival a lawn mower that needs a tune up. I succeed in staying put about half the time. Larry is usually downstairs first and gives her Temptations cat crunchies, which she would eat to the exclusion of everything else if given the chance. If I’m still in bed after she finishes she comes back up and curls up next to me. Once I get up she follows me to see if she can finagle more treats. She succeeds about half the time.

7:30 Sixth graders arrive next door to catch the school bus. Last year one little girl had talked nonstop at full vocal bore (in both senses of the word). One of the boys serenaded the neighborhood on his trumpet. After school ended, that part of the routine was gone, and this group walks or gets rides down the hill to the middle school. The new crop of sixth graders is a smaller crowd and far more muted. In fact they are almost as quiet as the sleepy bunch of high school students who catch the bus up the street at 7 a.m.

8 to 8:15 Last year on Monday and Thursday, one of Larry’s clients dropped off her king Corso who stayed until 8 p.m. because her humans worked late. She took a summer vacation, too, and moved in the fall. Now we have a doberman in temporary residence Monday to Friday from about 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Between 8 and 9, school buses rush past to the elementary school down the street. During the summer the rush is down to a single bus that comes to take the kids to camp.

9 to noon. Neighborhood is quiet except for birds and the odd trash truck. Larry walks the neighbors’ puppies and the dog down the block whose human just had surgery. People walk, people jog. There’s a serious cyclist who zips south every day about 11:30 unless it’s pouring or snowing. I can concentrate on whatever writing chores are at hand, with the occasional break to reheat my coffee. Isis sits on my desk and watches her morning news shows, then moves to my lap if she needs body heat. She hangs around for about an hour and then retires to her (heated) bed for her morning nap, which lasts until about 2 p.m. Occasionally a funeral procession turns into the cemetery down the street. The number of speeders diminished for a while after the police started running radar down the street. Would that it were ever so.

Noonish. Mail arrives if our regular letter carrier is working. It used to arrive at 10 a.m., but the P.O. added to his route. I’m always amused because he dons short sleeves when the temp goes above 50 but he never ever wears shorts even in the hottest, most miserable weather. If he has the day off the mail arrives any time between noon and four.

Afternoon: I continue working. Traffic picks up. UPS and FedEx make their deliveries at the same houses over and over. I finally decided that my neighbors must either buy or sell a whole bunch on ebay or else they do serious Avon or Amway business.  Between 2 and 3 Isis gets up, nibbles a little food, and checks out the afternoon soaps in the bathroom window if it’s warm and on my desk if it’s cold. In really hot weather, she goes to the porch and bakes in the sun. If it’s cold and the heat is running she sits next to the radiator in the living room with her tail under it, turning from side to side. Then she sprawls on the kitchen counter with her nose as close to the radiator as she can get it. Larry said he expects her to catch fire one day. Sometimes she’ll hang out in my lap for a bit. If the spirit moves me, I go for a walk. Generally it doesn’t.

3 p.m. Sixth graders tumble off the school bus. (I still haven’t figured out how the bus makes it across town in less than twenty minutes, but it does.) Last year’s kids didn’t make as much noise as they did in the a.m., but they hurled their books, coats, and musical instruments on the neighbors’ lawn and rough housed or ran in circles with the golden retriever in hot pursuit. Again this year’s crop is much quieter, and they just wander off to their houses.

Between 4 and 6 p.m. If I haven’t had any exercise, I get on my ten-speed which I’ve put up on a trainer in the basement for a half hour. The time drags, so I take a radio and a magazine. It’s still the longest half hour of the day. Lately I’ve been doing yoga instead.

Between 4:30 and 5 p.m. Isis starts her food dance, an hour before her scheduled dinner time. She winds around our legs, purrs, looks longingly and makes a beeline for the kitchen when anyone looks like they might be headed that way.

6 p.m. Isis eats dinner and then disappears for her after-dinner nap. I start cooking dinner and listen to “All Things Considered” on NPR.

7 p.m. Dinner, wash dishes, clean up kitchen.

8 p.m. Finish emails or other computer related chores. Try to remember to back up the files I’ve been using.

9 p.m. till 10 or 11. Phone calls, reading in the chair in the bedroom with cat on lap. Slowly wend to bed.

I manage to keep this routine about three days out of five during the week. What can intervene may be educational, a trip to the library. Or fun, lunch with friends. Or boring, a trip to the grocery store or a medical appointment. On Tuesday afternoons, there’s a good break when I do Reiki at the hospital.

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