“I’m trying something new,” I told Kris last night as we were getting ready for bed. “I’m taking Sabino’s approach to sleep.”

“What’s that?” she asked, frowning.

“Well, Kim and Sabino don’t use an alarm clock. They rise when they wake up naturally.” She furrowed her brow, full of doubt. “It works! Sabino’s never late to the office. I didn’t set my alarm last night. I just got up when I woke at 5:15.”

Kris did not reply, but turned over to fall asleep.

As I do every night, I checked the time before I closed my eyes: 10:45. As I do every night, I computed my expected wakeup time based on my typical sleep cycle: 4:45 or 6:15. “Hm,” I thought. “Maybe I should stay up another half hour so that I wake at 5:15.” My normal wake-up time is 5:30, but I’m okay getting up fifteen minutes earlier or later.

I dreamed of cats from outer space, cats with unspeakable powers. I slept well.

I woke at 4:48 and thought, “Maybe I’d better get up now. If I go back to sleep, Kris’ alarm will wake me in the middle of my sleep cycle, and then I’ll be tired the rest of the day.”

I didn’t get up. I fell back asleep. I dreamed of a church service at which Pam and I were arguing together against Joel and Kris regarding an esoteric point of Catholic dogma. Pam and I won the debate, of course, and celebrated with an asparagus pie.

I woke again to discover Toto sitting in front of the clock. “Move,” I said, pushing the whiny blob of black fur aside. “Uh-oh,” I said, elbowing Kris. “I guess maybe Sabino’s sleep method isn’t the best for us. It’s 6:17.”

6:17! While this was exactly the time I had expected to wake, it was also three minutes before I needed to leave in order to be on time for work. “I guess you forgot to set your alarm,” I said. Kris muttered something under her breath and stumbled downstairs for her shower.

On Monday night at our football gathering, some of the older kids played outside on Ron and Kara’s deck. “It’s icy,” they said when they came in for dessert.

“No it’s not,” the adults told them. We knew that we’d just had a rainstorm a couple hours ago, and that a heavy layer of cloud cover meant that temperatures wouldn’t drop significantly. Besides, there were no freezing temperatures in the forecast.

“Yes it is,” said Harrison, but we ignored him.

After dessert, I went outside to play a little with the boys. They were taking turns sliding across the icy deck. “Well I’ll be darned,” I thought. “It is icy.” I took a turn skooching my shoes across the slick spots. Before I went back inside, I looked around the yard for other signs of freezing. There were none. Somehow an isolated patch of ice had formed on Ron and Kara’s deck. There were no signs of frost on the drive home, either, though the sky was completely clear.

On Tuesday morning, however, it had frozen. The grass wasn’t too crunchy, but the car windows were frosted. Here at the shop, the thermometer read -2.8 degrees centigrade. I didn’t expect frost this morning, either, and I didn’t find any until I started the car. Though the other windows were fine, the front windshield had a thin layer of the stuff.

The first frost to me means winter is approaching, and so it is. The rains have come. Nights are cold. Darkness reigns supreme.

7 Replies to “Natural Sleep, and First Frost”

  1. jenefer says:

    Asparagus pie? Sounds good. Did you get the recipie?

  2. Aimee says:

    I dreamed of a church service at which Pam and I were arguing together against Joel and Kris regarding an esoteric point of Catholic dogma.

    I love dreams … Your mind just relaxes and suddenly confirmed atheists and agnostics are able to successfully and succintly debate points regarding Transsubstantiation, Heavenly Assumption, or Miracles.

  3. tammy says:

    We’ve had frost the last two mornings here in Oregon City. Both mornings the grass has been white as well as everything else. My flowers that were still blooming are now dead!

  4. Drew says:

    Cold pocket of air below the deck cools the surface above more rapidly than grass and driveway, which retain heat from the day. Thus ice forms on the deck first. Same thing happens on bridges, so be careful when driving early.

  5. My problem isn’t waking up, it’s getting up. It pretty much takes me 30-60 minutes from the time I wake up until the time I get out of bed, unless I have some urgent issue (like catching a plane flight) forcing me up immediately. I’m just a very slow riser. It’s really annoying.

  6. Tiffany says:

    I have no problem getting up without an alarm during the summer when the sun comes through my window. During the winter when it is dark (later then I need to get up) I must set the alarm. I have considered getting one of those alarms that has the light to wake you up, but never have. If anyone has one that I could borrow for a week or two to see if it works that would be great.

  7. Courtney says:

    I don’t use an alarm clock either. Henry wakes up right on or about 6:52 a.m. every morning (oh, and 3:00 a.m., 5:00 a.m., etc.) Unless he’s crying, I refuse to get up before 7:00. If I’m really lucky he’ll fall back asleep ’til 7:30 or so.

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