Let the record show that the clocks around the Mansion are a mess. Not just the fancy Farmer H cuckoo and collectible clocks. Each one shows a different time. Thing is, one gets used to each clock’s idiosyncrasies. The one on my nightstand, for instance, is a radio alarm clock, most likely from the ‘80s. Every time the power goes off, or even flickers, this clock takes its own sweet time getting started again. I’m sure there are battery backups in it. With batteries most likely from the ‘80s. I’m afraid to open it. But I know what time I go to bed, and I look at this clock, and I know when its digits will show me my get-up time. We never set the alarm on my clock. Never.
The alarm is set on Farmer H’s clock, on his nightstand, which is also a radio alarm clock, most likely from the ‘80s. He whacks me lovingly across the torso with his ham-arm when his alarm starts playing a country song at 4:50, when my clock shows 9:46, and says, “You up?” Then he goes back to sleep until I get out of the shower and wake him.
This morning, I turned over and looked at my clock. Sometimes I wake up and have ten minutes left to sleep. Sometimes an hour! But his morning, I looked at the clock. Squinted.
IT SAID 10:58!!!
Of course I figured the power must have flickered in the night. That couldn’t be right. The alarm hadn’t gone off. I went into the bathroom to investigate. The ticking wall clock showed 6:02! I was an hour and 12 minutes late! Farmer H leaves the house for work at 6:00! I hollered at him.
“The alarm didn’t go off! It’s after 6:00! I’ve got to get in the shower! Get what you need out of the bathroom!”
Farmer H had not much of a response, besides stating that he could do without a shower. He takes one morning and night. Good thing he’s management, and doesn’t punch a time clock. Let’s just consider this credit for all those times he has been called out of bed at 3:00 a.m. for an alarm at the plant. Which is 30 minutes away.
I rushed to the kitchen and downed my first pill. The one for my missing thyroid, which decrees that I do not eat anything for an hour after taking it. Which meant no breakfast today, since I had to be on the road in 20 minutes, what with a parking lot issue at Newmentia and slots at a premium for two days. I threw The Pony’s lunch in his bag, made some ice water in his metal bottle. Grabbed some leftover pizza and wrapped it in a piece of foil that was laying on the cutting block. Put that in my bag.
Huh. Best laid plans. The Pony and I had already prepared ourselves to leave 15 minutes early this morning. And by prepared, had planned in our heads to get dressed earlier and make time to get the trash dumpster up the driveway and get to school while parking was still available.
I hollered several times to get The Pony moving. Farmer H came out of the bathroom. I dashed in. The Pony was ready when I came out. He had the trash bagged. I wrapped my other medicine in a Puffs With Lotion and stuffed it in my pocket. I grabbed a slice of leftover Thanksgiving ham and dropped it in a baggie for my breakfast. We were out the door 25 minutes after I got up. Not too shabby for a routine that usually takes an hour and forty minutes. My hair dried quite nicely in the 32-degree air and gushing vents of T-Hoe. We snared a parking spot on the end, way down past my best ol’ ex teaching buddy Mabel’s former classroom.
Mrs. Hillbilly Mom has not been having much luck with her routine. Her old back-up plan was her mom, who called her every morning at 6:00 if Mrs. HM did not call her first.
It’s times like these that I really miss Mom.