Hey, it was his idea...
"Let's get up early, take a thermos of coffee, my homemade cinnamon rolls, and head east to capture the sunrise," my husband offered energetically.
My jaw dropped and I looked at him in sheer disbelief.
"Are you feeling OK?" I inquired. "Are you feverish?"
Color me skeptical, but we had just returned home from hunting Saturday evening's glorious sunset west of town when he made the surprisingly spontaneous suggestion. It had been a blazing 48 degrees when the sun was disappearing. An Iowa winter heatwave. Obviously, the man was suffering from heat stroke.
I mean, for John to offer to get up early on a Sunday to do anything, let alone want to venture out onto the frozen Iowa tundra at literally the crack of dawn to take pictures of the sunrise, was so unlike him. (I probably should mention here that the guy has to get up at 4 a.m., five days week, and at 6 a.m. on Saturdays, for work. Hence, his Sunday mornings -- and Sundays, in general -- are mostly off limits when it comes to spontaneity.)
I suspect John was just trying to humor me since I had spent most of Saturday sobbing after our son, Daniel, left to go back to college after having him home for his month-long winter break. (See yesterday's blog post for the low down on that.)
Anyway, whatever the reason, I agreed to the sunrise hunt with great exuberance. As my friends all know, I've been just a teensy-weensy bit obsessed with sunrises and sunsets since I returned from a three-month adventure living in Myrtle Beach, SC, with my dear friend, Mary. Taking pictures of the sun's comings and goings from my Iowa front porch via my cell phone, and then posting them on Facebook, has become part of my self-prescribed beach withdrawal therapy. You know, the whole "bloom where you are planted" thing.
To have John offer to accompany me and drive me hither and yon to find the best spot for taking a picture or 10 of Sunday's sunrise made my heart sing! However, based on the past vast experience of three decades-plus of marriage, I never truly thought John would follow through with the early morning excursion.
"According to Google, the sun is going to rise about 7:15 a.m.," I advised him. "Oh, and honey, I did a little research on sunrise/sunset photography, and it is best to be at your pre-determined location about a half hour before the sun actually rises or sets because that's when the sky can be the the prettiest. So that means we need to be up and at 'em, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed by, say, six bells. Or 6:30 at the latest. Are you sure you want to do this?"
"Yes, dear," John replied, smiling, as he rolled out his cinnamon roll dough. "See you in the morning!"
"I'll believe it when I see it," I muttered under my breath.
Zoom to 6:30 a.m. this morning.
There's John, snoring, all snuggled under the covers, his heated rice pack hugging his sore shoulder (injured when he tripped over a tote in the basement and dislocated said shoulder several weeks months ago).
Poor guy...he looked so peaceful. I hated to wake him to go take pictures of the sunrise. But like I said, it was his idea...
"RISE AND SHINE FELLOW SUNRISE HUNTER!" I called out. "GRAB YOUR GEAR AND LET'S GO!"
He rose, by golly, but he wasn't exactly shining.
He rose, by golly, but he wasn't exactly shining.
"Turn on the coffee, start the car, throw me in the back and make sure the compass says "E" for east," John mumbled.
Long story short, we actually made it out the door -- sans cinnamon rolls, but with a thermos of hot coffee -- and we were on the road in plenty of time, John at the wheel. He was sporting Daniel's Iowa Hawkeyes trapper's cap, giving him a sort of Elmer Fudd/ Cousin Eddie (Christmas Vacation) flair.
"This is exactly what Mary and I did in Myrtle Beach," I reminisced excitedly. "We chased the sunrise. Except, of course, it was 70 degrees outside, not 9. And there was an ocean. And Mary didn't wear a trapper's cap..."
"Uh-huh," John murmured, staring straight ahead as he drove across the dark, bitter cold, landlocked Iowa landscape.
We found the perfect sunrise viewing spot off a desolate gravel road. John threw the van into park, and I hopped out eagerly, cell phone in hand.
"Remember, if you hear panting, it's most likely not a puppy," John said, opening the thermos and pouring himself a hot cuppa joe. "Mind if I wait in the car?"
Hmmm. Never thought of that aspect of Iowa sunrise hunting...
Undaunted, however, by the possibility of being attacked by a hungry coyote, I fired off a couple of practice shots across the frozen Iowa tundra, catching the sun as it feebly tried to burn its way through the deep blue, icy morn.
The hunt ended, my fingers ice cubes (it's all but impossible to take pictures with a cell phone wearing gloves, I've discovered), we headed back to camp, er, the house.
Once home, we each snarfed down two homemade cinnamon rolls. I plugged in my phone to recharge it and I began to blog. John made a beeline for his easy chair.
"Snowflake hunt!" I announced, with a chuckle.
"ZZZZZZZZZ," came John's reply. Yes, my mighty hunting assistant was sound asleep.
Indeed, the thrill of the sunrise hunt can be tiring. But in such a good way!
We seized the day! We captured the moment! Yay for us!
And now I do believe I hear the couch calling my name!
You know what they say: Carpe Diem! Carpe Dormio!
(Seize the day! Seize the nap!)