…which is entirely new to me.
Before all you cheery-dispositioned, wide-awake, conquer-the-world-the-minute-you-get-out-of-bed types give me a hard time, let me say that I have never been a morning person. Even the day I was born I chose to enter the world at 9AM; a reasonable and very civil time of day. That auspicious beginning established a pattern for the rest of my life.
I have always preferred to stay up late as opposed to getting up early. Unfortunately, my predilection for sleeping in was in direct conflict with the demands and responsibilities of life. Besides the obvious like school and work, my father’s profession, of all things, deepened my dislike of mornings.
My father, who passed away in April of 2018, was an officer in the United States Air Force. His area of expertise was explosives and bomb disposal. It was called EOD – Explosive Ordinance Detail. Over the course of his military career we moved 17 times in 18 years (at least the ones I was involved in). This meant we were constantly dealing with disruption, change, and complete upheaval; new house, new school, new friends, new town, new everything. Some of those challenges were mitigated by the fact that my parents had six children within six and a half years. We always had built-in playmates.
Most of my father’s assignments were at bases and locations within the contiguous United States enabling us to drive from one to the next. Several times we were required to drive across the entire country. Regardless of where we were going my father would want to get on the road as early as possible to maximize the distance we could cover. Makes sense, right? No big deal you’re thinking.
Picture this; It is early morning (very early). The sun has not risen. The house is dark and quiet because all six children are asleep, snug and warm in their beds. The lights go on and my parents begin to rouse us. The entire family shuffles out into the brisk, sometimes very cold, morning air. We scramble into the family station wagon, jostling and fighting for a seat next to a window. Our luggage has been tied to the roof of the car and covered with a tarp. Dad takes roll call. Check. Everyone is accounted for and off we go. Two blocks later, one of us would invariably ask, “Are we there yet?”
Do you think we were all good little children who got along well, kept quiet, and were nice to each other? Ha!! Being in a car with five other kids who were also irritated and cranky from being roused so early, wasn’t exactly a picnic. I won’t say it was akin to cage fighting, but it got close a few times. Thankfully, my father kept us all in check and we came through each move alive. Although there was that one time we had to double back to a gas station somewhere in the middle of the country. My brother Steve got soap in his eyes and wasn’t in the car when we got back on the road. At some point my Dad started roll call, David! [Here!], Beth! [Here!], Steve! …Steve!… Steve? Uh oh.
To this day I detest long drives in the car and will sometimes get nauseated if I have to get up before the sun when I’m traveling. Ugh. My dislike of rising early remained a constant in my life. And then a miracle happened.
My time was my own! I was no longer a slave to the alarm clock. Slowly, very slowly, my morning routine shifted. Initially I slept in just because I could and I liked it. Won never said a word and would get up with Sweet Pea whenever she needed to go out – which was typically pretty early in the morning. Over the months I started to feel guilty about this. Since we moved to Cascais, and now that my toe has healed, I have stepped up and helped shoulder the burden. If Sweet Pea needs to go out before 5AM, Won takes her out. If it is after 5AM, I do. If she sleeps past 6:30AM, we feel like we’ve hit the jackpot that day.
Walking with her early in the morning has given me the chance to appreciate the beauty of this time of day, but also to see Cascais in a new light – literally. Watching the sun come up over the water and the town slowly wake up, is something I have come to love. I thought I would share some of my favorite images with you that I have taken in the quiet, early hours of the morning.
Sweet Pea is ready to go. Are you?
These images of Cascais Bay were in last week’s post. They were taken the morning after the Ironman competition, but I just love them and wanted to highlight them again. Cascais is seriously picturesque!!
Every morning the calls of the sea gulls punctuate the quiet as they tell the fishermen to get out there and start catching some fish they can steal for their breakfast.
The Cascais marina is located at the base of the citadel. Boats sit quietly in the water as the sun rises and bathes the ancient fort in warm light.
The monuments in town seem especially poignant early in the morning.
The buildings that run along the edge of Cascais Bay look lovely when the sunlight hits their white facades. It sparks all kinds of stories in my head about the people who have lived there in the past and those who are lucky enough to live there now.
The buildings that do not face the water are just as charming and beautiful.
I try never to miss walking past two of the most iconic buildings in Cascais, both of which are great examples of Summer Architecture. The first is a 1901 oceanside villa which has been turned into the Farol Museu de Santa Marta. The second, just across the street, is a Revivalist-style palace built in 1900 and is now the Museu Condes de Castro Guimarães. Breathtaking!
Whatever path we take, Sweet Pea and I always walk along the coastline. The sense of tranquility is palpable.
One thing is certain, we have found the end of our rainbow and it is right off the coast of Portugal.
As for me, I will not be posting next Friday. Won is taking me to Madeira Island for my birthday!! I’m super excited to see it. The weather forecast is looking very good for our trip; highs be between 22 C and 23 C (72/74 F) every day with plenty of sunshine. Lows will be around 17 C or 18 C (62/64 F). Not bad for the middle of November. When we get back I promise tell you all about it.
Until then, please stay safe, stay healthy, stay in touch.
From Portugal with love,