It was the theme for my son’s fourth-grade graduation ceremony. Funny that I should remember it so clearly. My son is turning 50 in a few weeks and I’ve forgotten a lot, but this I remember. And I remember that I cried.
I didn’t sleep at all last night. I don’t mean I slept restlessly. I mean I was awake the entire night. It was a variety of physical issues. As soon as I got one problem settled down, another popped up.
There are nights like this. Fortunately, not often.
Back in the day, it didn’t bother me very much unless I had a particularly difficult day at work. I’m getting too old to go a whole night without sleep. I’ve got stuff to do. Maybe I can send Garry can pick up a few things and we can defer this for one more day? Pick up a pizza for dinner?
It started when I got to bed very late. Why? Because I was trying to read and respond to blogs — at least to the blogs for the people I consider online friends. I didn’t get to everyone, but at least I managed to get a bunch of them done. Everything else? Deleted. It’s in the Reader. Maybe I’ll find a free hour. Maybe.
My body has shifted all its daytime stuff to the middle of the night. Lots of trips to the bathroom make it hard to settle down — and that’s not the only thing. Everyone else does that stuff during the day. Me? Middle of the night which sometimes makes deep sleep treacherous. I had a reminder list rolling through my head, too. Call the Senior Center to make an appointment to get taxes done. Their times fill up quickly because it’s a free service from the AARP, something I appreciate with all my heart. I have never been any good at doing taxes, not in my entire tax-paying life.
And then my legs cramped. I wrapped them in heating pads and after an hour or so, they stopped trying to curl up in weird knots. It’s strange to watch them when they do that. The tendons stand out and the feet curl upwards. It means I’m not drinking enough stuff with electrolytes in it.
Whenever I felt sleepy, my body did something inconvenient and occasionally, painful. My chest, which is still loose and crunches when I move, was particularly crunchy last night. My acid reflux was refluxing like mad because I’ve been trying to take fewer antacids, but my gut doesn’t agree. I think it is never going to get on that bandwagon.
That I didn’t get into bed until well after 2 in the morning probably didn’t help. If I stay up late enough, I wake up. I am most sleepy around 2 in the afternoon. After I overcome that drowsiness, I get more and more wakeful, so by midnight when Garry is toddling off to bed, I’m ready to party. Well, you know. Not really party hearty, but my version of partying which mostly involves computers and writing and processing photographs. At least after night falls, I stop taking pictures.
So day rolled around again and it’s a beautiful one. Relatively warm with sunshine and blue skies. The coffee is brewing. I know in an hour, I’ll be ready to crash.
Somehow, night and day have flipped around and that circadian rhythm has gone totally askew. My body thinks night is for doing stuff and except for the 2pm sleepy time, I never seem quite ready for sleep. This didn’t bother me much when I was young. I slept very little and it was okay. I could handle a day’s work on three or four hours of sleep, but as the years have advanced, I need sleep or I’m a train wreck.
At least I figure I’ll sleep tonight. In the recliner and in bed. I think I have a solid 12 hours of sleep waiting for me. I sure hope so. Time to call the Senior Center. Well, not quite yet. in another half hour. Meanwhile, coffee anyone?
Back in the golden olden days, hope had two meanings: “wished for” and “expectation,” the latter meaning being (mostly) obsolete though we still use it. For example, “I would hope your future plans include a college education” which from a parent really means “I expect you to go to college, young lady!”
Today, “hoping-against-hope” would loosely translate to mean “Who — against expectation (logic and reason) — nonetheless believes that the thing(s) he/she hoped for will (still) happen?”
Right now, I am hoping against hope that the rain will pause and let the sun shine for at least a little while. It has been a full week of rain.
Chilly and damp, I’m sure the earth is happy for the moisture. I’m grateful to have the rivers and our well filled. Even so, couldn’t we fit a little sunshine into the mix? Just a bit?
Our dogs have been extra cheerful since the rain started. I don’t know what that means, since they don’t like rain and are afraid of thunder. But, they’ve been in a super good mood since the first downpours on Sunday.
I asked them (several times and I was very respectful) what’s happening, but they have not been forthcoming.
Let The Sunshine In, Rich Paschall
Now that Spring has officially arrived, we are thinking more of enjoying the sun. You may have told someone that “You Are The Sunshine Of My Life” or that you wanted to share the “Sunshine Of Your Love,” but you may be looking at this differently than we are. Of course, “There Ain’t No Sunshine When You’re Gone,” but “Don’t Let The Sun Catch You Crying.”
If it remains cloudy were you are, don’t believe “The Sun Ain’t Gonna Shine Anymore.” Just keep telling yourself, “Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me” and you will soon have your “Seasons In The Sun.” Just be sure to stay away from the “House Of The Rising Sun” and you will be fine.
So let me be your “Sunshine Superman” and offer my top 10 Sunshine Songs to brighten up the beginning of Spring:
10. You Are My Sunshine, The Pine Ridge Boys. This 1939 “standard” has been covered by so many artists it is hard to say where I heard it first. Originally performed as a country song, it has received a lot of musical treatments.
9. California Sun, The Rivieras. The 1961 song by Joe Jones became a big hit when The Rivieras covered it in 1964. The 1977 Ramones version also became a hit and showed up on various albums.
8. Walking On Sunshine, Katrina and the Waves. The 1985 hit was a consistent seller for the record company and pure gold for the artists who retained the publishing rights and songwriter royalties.
7. Soak Up The Sun, Sheryl Crow. It’s her only number one hit and you can probably sing along with the chorus. The 2002 release was written by Crow and Jeff Trott.
6. I’ll Follow The Sun, The Beatles. The Paul McCartney, John Lennon composition was written as early as 1960 but the Beatles hit was released in 1964 with lead vocals by McCartney.
5. We’ll Sing In The Sunshine, Gale Garnett. This happy pop tune was released in 1964 and won the Grammy for Best Traditional Folk Recording in 1965. Yes, it was the era for Folk Rock.
4. Good Day Sunshine, The Beatles There was no plan to add multiple Beatles songs. I made up a list and then gave them a ranking. This 1966 Lennon, McCartney composition also has McCartney on lead vocals. Paul played piano on the track and later overdubbed his bass part. I could not find a Beatles performance, but Sir Paul can still bring it.
3. Let The Sun Shine In, The 5th Dimension. The recording by the 60’s pop group is actually a medley of two songs from the musical, Hair. It was at the top of the charts for 6 weeks in 1969. Opening with “Aquarius,” the sound was sometimes called “Psychedelic Pop.”
2. Sunshine On My Shoulders, John Denver. Co-written and recorded by Denver for his 1971 album Poems, Prayers & Promises, it was released as a single in 1973. By early 1974 it reached number 1. When the album came out, I recall singing this song over and over with a friend. I think our performance may have been fueled by adult beverages. It will always hold great memories from a youth well spent.
1. Here Comes The Sun, The Beatles This time it is a George Harrison composition that brings The Beatles back to the list. Recorded in 1969 for the Abbey Road album, it was never released as a single. Nevertheless, the track received critical acclaim and has been played and downloaded often.
Click on any title to go to the You Tune video, or let all of these songs shine down on you from playlist here.
Object lesson of the day: I picked up my camera. Removed the lens cap. Pressed the ‘on’ button. Nothing happened.
Then I changed the battery.
Lesson: Before you panic, check the battery. You’d think after 40 years, I’d have figured it out by now, wouldn’t you?
It is not spring. That’s two weeks in the future, but the weather hasn’t looked at the calendar. It thinks it’s spring. I’m not about to argue the point.
It’s lovely. Warm. Gentle breeze. Bright blue sky. Too early for leaves, though I wouldn’t be surprised if the forsythia bloomed early. After three years of brutal winters when snow lingered late, what a treat this warm, friendly weather is.
The open dutch door lets in the fresh air — a luxury after a winter with everything closed up tight.
Sunshine is streaming through the aloe by the sink. The light glows in a little bottle on the window sill.
It’s almost my birthday … just two more days. The gypsy fortune-teller was wrong. I did not die in my 68th year (so there, gypsy lady). I might make it to the big 70!
Today, it’s too warm for my “between season” jacket! Too warm for a sweatshirt. Perfection will be more rain until our rivers are full again.
We’ve had some beautiful sunrises lately. Since the shade on my window broke, the sun streams at dawn. Right on my pillow. In my eyes. That sounds delightful, but it’s not.
At 6 in the morning, I do not want the sun in my eyes. I want to roll over and get another few hours of sleep.
The sun hits my brain too. It tells me to pick up a camera and take a few pictures.
The sun hits that particular window, and is in my face, for a scant half hour. After that, it moves higher in the sky and does not trouble me. Pity I’m wide awake by then. Considering I go to sleep around 2 in the morning, I am not ready to face the day at six. I love photography, but I also need sleep.
I’m nothing if not opportunistic. I keep a camera in the bedroom. If I’m going to be awakened from sleep by the sun, I might as well get some pictures too. Isn’t that what everyone does at sunrise?
What does reward mean to you?
After a week of gray skies, today the sun came out. It snowed yesterday and overnight. It may snow tomorrow. But right now, this morning, the sky is deep blue and the shadows are long across the snow.
The birds are squabbling … a crow is trying to push the juncos out of their forsythia bush. There’s an energy that has been missing in the darker days of this past month. Maybe spring is coming after all?
Taken with the Pentax Q7.