After the trials and joys of raising two beautiful and quick daughters, my wife and I are enjoying some slightly less hectic mornings. A new morning ritual that I have begun to enjoy allows me to both let my wife sleep in and indulge some quiet time at the beginning of each work day.

I rise with about 90 minutes to spare before I leave for work. After oblations, I head downstairs and start water for a pot of tea. I am a tea kind of guy having never been able to really enjoy morning coffee. While the water comes to a boil, I drop a patty of homemade sausage in a pan ( the recipe in Joy of Cooking is really hard to beat for taste and ease of preparation), grab an egg and some cheese from the fridge door and enjoy the aroma of searing sage from the stove top. Some days these tasty tidbits fill a sandwich of whole wheat toast with cherry preserves, other days they can fill a warm tortilla with some chunky salsa, and still other days they top some yellow grits that slow cooked with a knob of butter in a quart-sized crock pot overnite. The water has come to a boil and fills my cast iron teapot along with some English or Irish Breakfast or on some days, Earl Grey. The sent of tea now mingles with the frying egg which has been liberally dusted with fresh ground black pepper. The tea poured, breakfast prepared, and blessings asked, I head to the office and fire up the laptop to read the headlines de jour. Some mornings, I enjoy the friendly banter of the Bill Bennett "Morning in America" radio program while on some mornings I simply enjoy the snoring of the dogs and the horn and rumble of a passing train (this usually brings to mind a chorus from Arlo Guthrie's "City of New Orleans", Good Morning, America, how are ya'?)

This has become a special time for me that offers both a chance to enjoy simple preparations of simple fare as well as quiet time for meditations on events passed and planning for the coming day. I try to follow the well aimed advice of living one day at a time and enjoying each moment of each day as a gift. The gift of this time has become more and more appreciated.

After breakfast, it's time to clean up and prepare coffee for my wife of 26 years. I am now ready for whatever the day throws at me having allowed myself this time of preparation and refreshment.


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Comment by Ron Volz on January 16, 2010 at 11:36pm
liam, bin there, done that...
Try a standard sausage spice mix with some bulgar wheat and tofu that has been frozen, thawed, and chopped fine. Bind with some flax seed soaked in water and then whirred in a blender (great egg white substitue.) Form into patties and fry in canola oil until happiness is achieved.
Comment by liam on January 16, 2010 at 7:30am
sounds great! someday i'm gonna come up with a good homemade vegan sausage recipe based on old family ones.
Comment by Ron Volz on January 11, 2010 at 6:38am
Sometimes, when I ask my wife an "either/or" question, she'll respond with "yes", meaning both. Well, "yes" to both of my daughters: they are quick to rise, quick whited, quick to laugh, quick tempered, and they both grew up far too quickly. They are, in effect, mostly everything I wanted them to be and some of everything I hoped they would'nt be all wrapped up under one title, my girls. We've discovered the joys and trials of the empty nest and found that the joys outnumber the trials while the trials sometimes outlive the joys. Which reminds me that the best advice is to remember to live one day at a time while remembering Him who gave us that advice. I'm really enjoying AoM and am thankful for your comments. As a teacher, I am reminded of the old adage that one never really understands something until one tries to explain it to someone else.
Comment by Brett McKay on January 11, 2010 at 1:47am
Ah, this sounds like an excellent morning ritual indeed. What do you mean that your daughters are "quick?" Quick to rise? They grew up quick? Are you an empty nester now?

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