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November is the month when we move back into standard time. I look forward to getting my morning hour back because early morning is my favorite time. I don’t like that extra hour being snatched away and put at the end of the day!  As that extra hour returns to morning I think of early morning childhood memories.

My dad was raised on a farm and all his life he continued to get up at 4:00 o’clock every day. I was always an early riser too, but my mother and two sisters were not. I would wake up and go downstairs and my dad would be in the kitchen with breakfast ready. In winter it would be hot cereal usually and sometimes even pancakes, eggs or cornbread. He always had the good music radio station on. The program started and ended with the “Waltz of the Flowers.”  It goes like this …. Miriam hums the tune ….. If I had any homework to finish or understand, this would be the time when my mind would be best – early morning. My dad was the math and science tutor. He was always more concerned about how an answer was achieved and whether I understood how the answer was attained. These morning hours were the time to work out whatever was not clear the night before.

Fishing is another early morning activity I loved. My dad would come awaken me at 4:00 o’clock – before dawn – and we would have breakfast and get our gear. We usually had dug up the worms the night before. We had a “worm garden” where my dad put yellow corn meal deep into the soil, which attracted the worms. Then when you went to that worm garden it was easy to dig up plenty of big night crawlers. Any worms we didn’t use, we returned to our worm garden. The lake was over the hill and we had always built a flat-bottomed family boat. We would be on the lake as the sun broke out.

One day we were at our favorite fishing spot among many lily pads, catching bluegills. If the fish was small, my dad would gently take it off the hook, and tell it to go back and get its granddaddy! Finally, I got a nice sized bluegill and was carefully bringing it in when suddenly it fell off the hook and then miraculously landed on a large lily pad! We watched the fish try to flip and flop but because the water was underneath the lily pad, it couldn’t get a solid enough base to push off of. My Dad said ” I think we could row over and scoop it up with our bailing can!”  So we quietly and slowly rowed over and sure enough he was able to get it into the can using his hand to guide it in the right direction. What exciting and wonderful memories!

Gardening was always an early morning activity, too. It didn’t matter if we were preparing the soil, planting, weeding, or harvesting, it was always peaceful and fun because my dad loved nature so everything became ALIVE with him!  He had planted an orchard, as well as berry bushes.

We used to make a scarecrow every year – stuffed with hay in my dad’s old outfit. Tin cans were tied to blow in the wind and scare the birds. Every year the birds seemed to wait to see what we made and they just loved it. It became a family joke as we would watch the birds eat our fruit and perch on the scarecrow, but the scarecrow would be a member of the family by then.

Well, as I watch the sunrise, pink and peach and gold, I remember my favorite part of coming to November every year. It is because I get my extra hour of morning back to enjoy before the world wakes up and I need to get on with my planned activities. It is fun to remember my childhood memories of early morning with my dad.


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