Another morning in America

April 8, 2016

morningIt’s 4:30am and the house is still. Outside, there’s no sign of the light that will creep across the sky in just over an hour. The coffee is made and I’m in my office enjoying the small pleasure of my first cup of French roast.

Riley got us up to take him outside a little while ago and once that happens I can’t go back to sleep, not without help. Michael is back to sleep in an instant and so is the dog, but I start thinking about seeing my trainer at 8am and then the housekeepers coming and then Riley’s trainer will be here to put him through his nose-work practice in preparation for his first Odor Recognition Test and … well, once my brain switches on it won’t turn off until early evening.

So yeah, I’m up.

But I like the pre-dawn hours of the day best, when it seems like the whole world is sleeping except me. Maybe I’ll light a fire and enjoy my coffee in front of the fire. Spring is officially here and there aren’t many days left to enjoy a morning fire.

One thing I won’t do is turn on the news. Maybe it’s the craziness going on in the world around us, but lately, I’ve had a very strong urge to flee. Oh, hell, there’s no maybe about it. It is the craziness.

Fleeing the country

“All of a sudden I have this strange urge to leave the country,” I told Michael.

“We’re leaving for Portugal May 2, so you won’t have to wait long,” he reminded me.

We’re cruising the Douro River with friends the first half of May. It’s a trip that’s said to be one of the most gorgeous cruises available, through charming old villages, with the added bonus of some port tasting.  We’re going with friends that also enjoy a good laugh and I’m hoping we won’t talk any kind of current events. Just escape. Get away. Live in another world for a couple of weeks.

Before that, though, I’m heading to Las Vegas for a midlife women’s blogging conference. It’s true that I passed midlife a while ago and that the conference is only two days of the six I’m spending there. But I’ll be spending time with a very cool woman I connected with through blogging circles. She’s very different than I and yet the same, too.  Who knows the magic of that kind of connection, the kind that crosses religion and background and family life. We’ve both been looking forward to sitting and talking for a very long while. So I’m excited about that. I’ll also meet a few dozen other women whom I’ve known as only words on a screen for years.

Las Vegas is a familiar place. In some odd twist, I used to have to go to Vegas regularly during three different jobs–starting back in the early 1980s. I don’t like the Strip any more, but this conference is way off the strip at a resort. Hot tub, massage, good female conversation? I’m in.

About a week after we return from Portugal I head east again for a week in Virginia Beach. It’ll be the residential portion of the first online course I’m taking in Integrated Imagery, otherwise known as past life regression.  All I can think about is spending time in the library at the Edgar Cayce A.R.E., a place that fascinated me when I visited last year. I actually extended my trip so I could have a day to explore the stacks.  And then a summer of study. This time, escape into my head and my spirit.

Michael has to go to his office in Manhattan in June so I’m tagging along to spend some time playing in the city.  July brings adventures in Montana with a favorite girlfriend. We’ve decided to visit our hometown of Rochester, NY in August. By the end of September I’m back in Virginia Beach for the residential portion of course two in the three-course certificate program and just a day after I get back, we are off to Santa Fe for five weeks. More escape.

Hiding out in Santa Fe

In Santa Fe we engaged a new house that we were high on. It was a one-story and we wouldn’t have to carry Riley up the steep stairs to the bedroom in the house we had last year. Which we liked fine except for that. Plus it took us about 10 days to stop gasping for air at the top of the staircase. But the owner of this new house wanted only longer term rentals. So we’re back at the old house. Which has its own advantages–a huge laundry room/pantry and I do mean huge. An office alcove that was my hangout. And the exactly same Xfinity set up we have at home with DVR included, so we can record all our favorite shows.  And again, some friends will be our house guests for a bit.

Sounds like enough escape right? But it doesn’t feel like it. It’s morning in San Jose, morning in America, and I just want to run away, to go somewhere I don’t have to hear politicians trading crude insults. the announcement that terrorists have beheaded more people, the fear of bombings and murders in places as charming as Paris. It strikes me that every era has its ugliness and for our parents it was segregation and the ugliness of hoses and dogs being set on people. Maybe we had a bit of a lull after Vietnam, I think, and then I see that we hadn’t had a lull at all. There were the Gulf wars and people died and the world changed.

This must be just the way of the world. But I’m tired of it, bone tired, and can’t help wishing there was someplace I could go where none of it would touch me, where I could live in peace and quiet, tending flowers, reading books and making good food.

But then I know I’d get wanderlust, I always do.

And in the end, there is no escape. It is what it is.


16 comments on “Another morning in America
  1. Klaudia says:

    Excellent read along with my morning coffee. Not as early as you tho ! Your schedule sounds amazing , I am sure , you will love your trip to Portugal , I am just “around the corner” , living on the Canary Islands . I look at world and things the same way as you , tired of all this violence and shocking news . What a messed up world is this ! Wishing you lots and lots of fun , Las Vegas … still a dream for myself ! Who knows … one fine day .

  2. Jennifer says:

    I know. Everywhere I turn the news is either showing terror or the worst representation of America through those that want to represent us to the world. My Dr. actually ordered me off of nightly news because I was having nightmares each night and couldn’t sleep. And so jealous that you will be at BAM, I had hoped to be there but am not able to.

  3. Shaking my head in agreement. Why the hate? I look forward to meeting you in Vegas and can’t wait to read about your trip to Portugal! Safe travels!

  4. Laura ehlers says:

    There is something wonderful about a quite early morning when anything is possible. Enjoy your travels!!

  5. Like you, I love the early-morning hours…the silence and time to just be before the workday kicks into gear. I’m in awe of your travel schedule…and I’m looking forward to meeting you at BAM!

  6. Lori says:

    All we can do is focus on the moment. Enjoy your moment of peace and drinking coffee and then enjoy the next. I must admit 4:30 am is not a happy time for me.Glad to see you enjoy that moment!

  7. Ruth Curran says:

    I am with you on the whole getting wanderlust but for different reasons. This is actually, in terms of recorded history, one of the most peaceful times this world has seen. We are just more accutely aware of the bad happening around us because we have instant access to all the details and for some insanely out of control reason the bad is front and center. We see it all happening live and in full color and the ugliness seems to cut through the noise more because humans filter it that way for us. My wanderlust is fueled by the desire to see the good, the connected, and the real with my own eyes. I am determined to ditch that ugly filter. So, my friend, here’s to holding our hearts above the noise! .

  8. Anna Palmer says:

    I’m excited to meet you at B@M. And I too have seen 4:30 pretty much every morning for the last 20.

  9. Morning is always my favorite time of day. There is no question that the promise of that first sip of coffee, time to myself and the stillness that is morning help me to trade the covers in for being upright. As for the ugliness…election years are always filled with noise and ugliness, I have tried in earnest to simply dig for the facts and have made my way to a decision regarding who to vote for, I do tire of the constant banter on social media.
    I rather like what Ruth said and think I too will strive to hold my heart above the noise. Enjoy your travels, there is much for you to enjoy ahead.
    PS I love the new look of your website. 🙂

  10. Carolann says:

    It sounds like you have planned some exciting travels! I hear you about wanting to be free of listening to the news every day. It does wear on you. That’s why I make sure to have news free hours during the course of my day. Happy travels Carol. I’ll look forward to reading all about them and seeing the awesome pics!

  11. Rosemond says:

    I’m with you So so tired of the horrid news that’s everywhere we turn. Wish there was a place that was walled off from our tragedies for just a while!

  12. Michele says:

    I connect with your desire to escape. I live in Wisconsin and the political circus has just left us- thank goodness. i know it is temporary. i can’t stand the news any more either. You have many great trips coming up. I have a need for escape but know it will have to wait for awhile. In the meantime, I am enjoying dreaming and planning.

  13. I was in Lisbon at the end of 2014 but just for a short jaunt off a cruise ship. I loved it. Make sure to try the Pasteis De Nata custard cups. They are to die for. See you at BAM

  14. I am bummed that I’m going to miss Vegas and this year’s BAM conference. I’m only going on the one trip in September going cross country with momma. I can’t wait for the day I can travel to all of the exotic places in my dreams, but then again I guess I can. I hope you have a blast!

  15. Janice Wald says:

    Hi Carol,
    So, how was the BAM Conference? Several people asked if I was going; one asked if I was speaking! I wasn’t there. How was it?
    Thanks for bringing your post to the Blogger’s Pit Stop.
    Janice, Pit Stop Crew

  16. Faye says:

    I’m a morning person as well and I sure do miss my pre-kid Vegas days!! Sounds like you have some exciting travels coming up and I hope you have an awesome time!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Follow Carol


Here you’ll find my blog, some of my essays, published writing, and my solo performances. There’s also a link to my Etsy shop for healing and grief tools offered through A Healing Spirit.


I love comments, so if something resonates with you in any way, don’t hesitate to leave a comment on my blog. Thank you for stopping by–oh, and why not subscribe so you don’t miss a single post?


Subscribe to my Blog

Receive notifications of my new blog posts directly to your email.