A crosstown drive at sunrise brings a big grin

Dawn makes me happy.

Not my friend Dawn Bliss, though she has tickled my funny bone a time or two. No, I’m talking break-of-day stuff here. Dawn. When it’s still dark enough you need lights to drive but light enough you could take a walk without a flashlight. Dawn.

That old saying “it’s always darkest before the dawn” isn’t being prophetic, it’s plain fact. Once years ago when my husband and I lived in Keenesburg, Colo., he asked if I wanted to drive to Las Vegas that weekend, and when I jumped up and down screaming yes, he couldn’t really back out. He tried; I didn’t let him.

Because I love driving at night, especially when there are few other cars on the road, I drove in the wee hours of the morning, including the time just before dawn. All the stars went to wherever they go when not shining in the night, the man in the moon turned in and it was dark. Very, very dark. But I knew all is darkest before the dawn, so I just kept driving.

These days my dawn adventures happen only early Sunday morning when I go out to eat. I find myself grinning like that silly Cheshire cat in Alice in Wonderland. I’ve never seen that movie all the way through, but I know that silly cat grins. As I grin on my way to breakfast on Sunday morning.

Depending on how long they are, I can get two songs played off the CD I listen to, and since they’re usually the same two songs, I know I can get within a minute of Perkins with those two songs if there’s no traffic. At 5 o’clock in the morning, there is little traffic.

Better, when I get to the restaurant, they know what I usually order, which is good if I order the same thing, but not so good if I want something new. Regardless, I feel like Norm walking into Cheers and everyone greets him. Only they don’t call my name. I should introduce myself.

Even better, there’s a good chance I’ll be the only one eating at that time in the morning. Well, good for me more than for them. It makes me feel like I’m a celebrity and someone bought out the whole restaurant just so I could have peace while eating.

But peace while eating isn’t such a big deal if you’re nosy and like to listen to what others say. Most people call that eavesdropping. I call it fair. If they don’t want me to hear what they’re saying, they shouldn’t sit within earshot of me. My ears work. Well.

I’ve tried taking a book along to read, but really, that’s a sad thing to do. And a hard thing to do without dropping food on the pages of the book. I’m getting much better since the time I dropped so much food on my shirt my friend told me he would no longer eat with me unless I wore a raincoat. That’s just rude. A viable thought, but still.

So long friends, until the next time when we’re together.

Sandy Mickelson, retired lifestyle editor of The Messenger, may be reached at mcsalt@frontiernet.net.