27 March 2010

Snow day in Sequoia

Last Friday, my parents took all three of us up to the snow in Sequoia National Park. It was about a two-hour drive from our apartment to the snow area, but on the way we stopped to see the famous General Sherman, a Giant Sequoia tree. Timothy loved walking in the snow and throwing snowballs with his bare hands. The trail to see the tree is at an incline, so we stomped and slid along, as the trail was a little icy in places.

General Sherman is as huge as ever! Although it’s not the tallest nor the widest tree in existence, it is the largest in volume. It’s easy to believe when you circle it and look up into its branches. Some folks were lying down on the cleared off bench, taking photos upwards of the tree, and they just kept saying, “Wow… wow.” Its circumference at the base is about 31 meters, so you can imagine a tree around which it takes more than 30 grown men to circle. Because it was snowy, we could get much closer to it than we would have been able to in summer, with its being roped off and all. I joked with David that it would be a nice place to build a several-story summer home – in the trunk, that is. The walk back to the car was slippery, and Timothy raced ahead of the rest of us, plowing into strangers who thankfully thought he was cute and didn’t mind. One part of the trail goes through a fallen tree trunk, and that was pretty cool. There were even icicles hanging from the tunnel’s edge.

We piled back into the car (after Timothy ran into the street and scared me half to death – how am I going to get him to stop doing that???) and drove further on to the snow area. Having never been to Sequoia in the winter, Dad & I half-expected it to be a tourist attraction like Yosemite. Alas, no. Although there was a sledding hill, there were no shops open (only in the summer), so we were glad we’d brought our own lunch! Mom had made us a picnic, so we enjoyed eating in the car before we traipsed out into the snowy field.

Some of the snow was pretty deep. David and I on separate occasions both went down almost up to our hips in snow. At one point I thought I would have to ask Dad or David to help pull me out! Timothy had a blast jumping in the snow, throwing it, and especially kicking it. We none of us had on snow clothes, but I’d brought a dry set of clothes for Timothy, so I let him go ahead and get soaked. I put on his mittens and my gloves, and that made everything much nicer. He had fun with Grampa, sliding down into a small gully on his bottom and then climbing out again. We started to make a tiny snowman, but Timothy kicked it, and snow flew everywhere. I climbed halfway up the snowy roof of the summer snack shop before I realized if I went further I’d have to slide down on my bottom. So I climbed down again, leaving that for some day when I’ve got on snow pants. :) David, Timothy, and I set off to the sledding hill and got some great exercise walking in the snow before it was time to go. We even passed a little creek into which Timothy wanted to jump, right after I’d heard read to me that there are so many drowning deaths in the mountains! No way were we getting near that creek, even though it was literally barely deep enough to cover my shoes if I’d had to go through it. It looked freezing and very slippery. Brr!

All in all, we were only in the snow for a couple of hours, but we all had a great time – Mom in the car listening to an audiobook and the rest of us in the snow. By the time we were done, around 2pm, Timothy was soaked, and I was glad I’d brought dry clothes! But it was a warm, sunny day – I wore short sleeves and felt fine – and we enjoyed the snow! I hope there will be pictures soon to follow.

Thanks, Mom and Dad, for a great snow day 2010!

02 March 2010

0600

Something woke me up at 0600 yesterday. I’m guessing it was Timothy’s whining from his bed. Maybe he was thirsty; maybe he was cold. Who knows? I pulled his covers over him more closely and patted him, and the little guy went right back to sleep. David was in the living room on his computer, wide awake, enjoying the quiet morning. He had been awake since 0400 and would go back to sleep around 0700.

I got a drink and went back to bed.

I realize that many people are up by 0600 on a regular basis. In fact, I know someone who gets up at 0500 every day and walks her dog.

Not me.

No way.

I’ve never been a morning person. In college, I avoided taking 0800 classes after my freshman year because I knew I was more likely to fall asleep in them. And when you’re sitting front and center, falling asleep is a particular problem. I remember one evening as a freshman, going over my notes from my 0800 Intro to Anthropology class and trying to read miniscule writing that drifted off the page. It was during that semester that I did my experiment with drinking four cups of coffee at breakfast before class.

Never again.

But at least I stayed awake!

I had to get up at 0630 when I worked in San Diego, since I had a 45-minute commute and had to be at work at 0800. Sometimes we would get there at 0730 so we could leave by 1630 instead of 1700. So yes, I do know what it’s like to get up early regularly. I can do it if I need to.

But it’s not for me.

In high school we were always encouraged to get up early for quiet itime before the day really began. Honestly, I did try. But every time after the first couple of days, I would drift off back to sleep as I was trying to pray. Call it spiritual warfare if you wish.

I don’t think so.

No, I’m definitely not a morning person. And at this time of my life, I can afford to sleep late. In fact, I need to sleep late. Since I work from home, my best work is done at night, when Timothy is asleep. And I’m obsessive about getting my work done early. If I have 40 papers turned in between 0700 on Monday and 0700 on Tuesday, by Tuesday morning I will have already done at least 15, even though I have until Thursday night to finish the lot. I’m usually done all the grading by Tuesday night or Wednesday morning. I just like to work that way and not feel last-minute pressure. And it’s so nice and quiet when Timothy’s asleep. So I stay up until 0100 or 0200 to get my work done. It’s no wonder I don’t wake up at 0600!

No sir, not me!

The other great thing is that Timothy is not really a morning person. Some days he wakes up between 0700 and 0730, but even when he does, he plays quietly until 0830 or so. I’m spoiled; what can I say?

I love sleep.

But I know that at some point in my life – perhaps sooner, perhaps later – I will have to regularly get up “early.” Whether I’ll have to work or wake up with Timothy, I know the day will come when 0600 becomes the set alarm on my phone (unless of course by then I have a real alarm clock).

Boo.

So for now I will enjoy sleeping in while I can, having a routine that allows me to get up at 0900 five days a week and pad around in my bathrobe for awhile. Call me lazy if you wish. I don’t care. It’s just the way I am.

And sometimes I like being me.