Sunday, August 4, 2013


This short piece was to have been an entry to the Themed Short Story: Coffee Cup  on LinkedIn. It never made the 4000 character limit, so here it is. It might fit a post in Rambler's Rest.

Coffee Cup Interruptions

It's exactly 9:00 a.m. as I begin to write, hoping my brain will kick in before it becomes apparent I don't know what I want to say. It's hard to think when nine cockatiels are vocalizing. Of course, that's putting it mildly.

Don’t try to correct my syntax. I can’t speak or write without ending a sentence with a preposition. There will be more, and I hope now that you'll notice every one of them.

There is hardly a morning when standing in my doorway to check out the day doesn’t bring a tremendous sense of well-being. Air fresh and cool--sun about to lift above the hilltop--birds preempting my “firstness” to greet the morning. Today it was the towhee who has been hanging for several months. He's alone--never another of his kind around. He hangs out with the white-crowned sparrows I feed beneath the pepper tree. After an absence of several weeks, he decides to return today. I wish I could ask  where he’s been. Was he scouring the canyon for his soul mate? I feel sad that he's so alone, though pleased that he's found companionship with the sparrows. I think this is  called anthropomorphizing. He has entertained me battling  the bird in the mirrors on my truck. I’ve named him Quixote for his fruitless jousting with imaginings.

What has all this to do with interruptions? (I hope you caught that.) I've just been super aware this morning of how often I veer away from my intended course of action and am asking myself whether this is something new or have I always been this way--and, what's more, are other people just as prone to it as I am? Here is the meandering path I followed this morning.

Awake at 6:00. On the way to the bathroom, stopped to say good morning to the birds. Remembered I ought to put on water for coffee, so put off uncovering the birds. In the kitchen, decided I'd better get Lucy's water bowl out of the dishwasher and fill it in preparation for her arrival about 8:00. Decided it was really, really time to head on to the bathroom. Made it through the morning ablutions without interruption, except for Princess trotting through on her way to the utility porch potty box. Refreshed and ready for the day, I turned on the computer and started dressing while the machine slowly booted up.

Half dressed, I remembered that I needed to start a load of laundry, since I had muddied a couple of pair of jeans while planting acorns yesterday. Got the machine started and soap in the water but noticed that the cat's potty box needed cleaning and stopped to do that. Went into the bedroom to get a couple more things to go into the wash. Stopped to respond to computer stuff required to complete the boot. Put on my socks and shoes as long as I was sitting down. Decided to check email. Answered one from Chris. Remembered the clothes on my lap that needed to go into the washing machine. Managed to get those in on time. Decided I really ought to go to the dresser on the sun porch and get a T-shirt. Half-dressed doesn't really work. On the way through the kitchen, noticed that I hadn't put on the hot pot for coffee, so stopped to do that. Went on to get the T-shirt. Looked for a moment at the cards I want to send to someone who's had bad cancer news and a letter from old friend Lowell that I haven't answered yet. Resisted the temptation to do those two serious things as simple interruptions from trivial tasks.

Dressed, finally, I uncovered the birds, made sure they had clean water and food (will clean cages in a short while), and opened the blinds, the process that begins their day. (Bird food residue crunches underfoot, so I stop to sweep the floor, a chore that has to be repeated several times a day.) That's when I see Quixote (yes, I just now named him) scratching for food among the pepper tree detritus. You can always tell when there's not a lot there, because the little birds scratch and look, scratch and look, but rarely peck. So, I stopped sweeping to take out a cup of wild bird food. He flew away, but he'll be back. When I got back in the house, I noticed I hadn't spread up my bed clothes, so I did that and turned off my reading lamp. I started to go to the computer again but remembered the hot pot steaming away. Made coffee. On my way through the living room to the computer, I set the coffee cup down and finished sweeping. Then remembering the spillover of kitty litter next to the potty box, I went to the utility porch to sweep there.

By now, it's time for Lucy to arrive . . . and she does. Marcia doesn't come in as she's got to be on the road, but Lucy goes right to her water bowl and does her usual search for any tidbits of cat or bird food of interest. I spend a little time making her welcome and hearing her latest news--delivered as aarrroooo rowwww roooooo arrroooowww. She's quite accomplished in her linguistic abilities. In the meantime, my coffee is still on the little table. I forget about going to the computer and start searching for one of the six pairs of reading glasses I now own. Finally have to steal the ones I keep in the bathroom for doing crossword or sudoku puzzles, which means I'll eventually be looking for them again. (sigh) I sat down beside my coffee and picked up the Cockatiel magazine I bought at PetSmart on Wednesday. Coffee was really cool by now. After reading a couple of short articles, I remembered that I had begun this blog article. So, now I'm here with my nearly-iced coffee. And, by the way, I haven't even thought about breakfast yet.

I do enjoy these rambles and hope you do, too.

PS I know I've changed tenses several times. Would you believe it was part of my scheme to match my tenses with my theme? . . . I didn't think so. (smile)


  1. Wish that didn't sound so much like my mornings - the rambling part.

  2. I'm just glad to read it and I love seeing your smile on my blog page. Thanks!


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