When I was a little girl we lived on an acre of land next door to my grandparent’s six acre farm. I say farm, but they really didn’t have a lot of animals. I remember they once had a couple of hogs and there were always the ever present chickens, cats, and the occasional dog. However, they did usually plant four or five gardens every year.
My grandparents would wake up before dawn every morning and prepare for their day. My grandmother would head to the kitchen and start cooking breakfast. My grandfather would make himself a bowl of cornflakes with two heaping spoonfuls of sugar and then go get started on his work, close to the house, while my grandmother made homemade biscuits and gravy and bacon. She had a regular electric stove but I always remember her cooking breakfast on an old cast iron wood burning stove.
By the time breakfast was done and on the table, my grandfather would be back in and they would sit down to eat. There were often cold biscuits and bacon left over by the time their lazy granddaughter drug herself out of bed and came to visit, sometime between 8am and 9am.
This was all brought to mind because I was talking to a friend and he expressed disbelief that I went to be at 8:30pm last night. When I work at my bill-paying job, I am up all night. The week I am off I revert to sort of farmer’s hours, or as I prefer, writer’s hours. Now, I know plenty of writers who stay up all night to work. But for me that won’t do since I have two kids to take care of. I wake up in the mornings usually between 4am and 5am to have an hour or two by myself to get a bit done. I toss a load of laundry or last nights dishes into the appropriate machine, dig up some breakfast, power up my computer to check my email, take a shower, and then sit down to write until either I have to get the kids up for school or they wake up on their own. (Depending on the day and if they have school or not)
Then I do all the necessary mom duties, drop the kids off and go write some more. (Or I do all the necessary mom duties, offer a threat or two and attempt to write until someone or something decides that it desperately needs my attention.) By the time I pick the kids up from school, provide and after school snack, make dinner, offer homework threats, and get them ready for bed, I am beat. So yeah, I went to bed at 8:30