Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Night Life in Carmel

Do you ever wake up in the middle of the night and wonder if you turned off the.....well, whatever it is that you turned on prior to retiring?

In my case it was a dehumidifier I had set in a closet in the main house.  I suppose the middle of the night is a subjective measurement.  I am talking three in the morning which might not be every one's middle, but it was feeling very middle to me. Once awakened by my dereliction of duty, a retinue of ancillary thoughts qued right up to dance, brightly lit, across the movie screen in the otherwise dark theatre of my now sleepless brain. First I reasoned that there was no real need to get up and stop the machine. It has plenty of capacity, it could winnow and hold several gallons of water; but I had a harder time convincing myself it was wise to leave it running. I imagined touching the electric cord and then the plug and thought of warmth, then heat, then fire. All very unlikely, but surely I should get up and trot on through the garden and the night, make my way to the lonely dehumidifier and shut it down. I was resolved, this was the right course of action, but before I put my feet to the floor, my gallant man awoke and volunteered his services.  I, of course, accepted and even volunteered to go with him, but he said there was no need for us both to get up.

He returned from the task, cheerful and full of praise for the glory of the last hours of the night. The sky was clear, stars visible, the air soft with warmth from the previous day of unseasonable heat. Then the phone rang. Our daughter was to catch an early morning flight to come to see us, but she had been woken with a call that her flight was canceled due to fog.   San Diego faces the same ocean we do; true it is a little further south, but fog enough to ground the plane?  After various communications back and forth and calls to the airlines, it was determined that the flight was reinstated and we, lured by the warm coastal air, decided to abandon our bed, dress and wander out into the very early morning.  After all, our girl was already up and being ferried to the airport by a kind friend, we might as well get ourselves in sync with her.

We thought we'd walk a little but the talk kept returning to where we could find a very early breakfast. We drove past the 24 hour Safeway and headed into the sleeping village by the sea.  As soon as we parked on Ocean Avenue we knew the cock had not yet crowed in Carmel.

Fantasies of  bakers who rise before dawn and create delectables worthy of every extra calorie that the pastry envelopes, coffee wafting hot and fresh cream chilled to keep the goodness captured...these were the ideas that had really driven us out into the morning.  And then we spotted, out in the dark, the real walkers.  There was a serious woman in a reflective tape vest, her arms pumping as energetically as her legs. Another denizen of the streets appeared ardently talking on her speaker phone as she powered down the middle of the empty traffic lane.  On the path above the beach we saw a small group of walkers with a cadre of dogs in graduated sizes each connected to their mistress by imaginary leashes. The shopkeepers may sleep in but the lean and fit were already on task. 

We walked a little, I think, but perhaps it only qualified as strolling.  Two women strode past us, "Look, they are walking lots faster than we are," I said by way of friendly greeting. 

"You need to get your hands out of your pockets," I heard in response.

Of course it was my camera I had in there...we sauntered over to one of the bakeries...the window display didn't help our state of mind any.  But we knew that in the long run, we'd grab a few things at the store and

go home and make our own breakfast.

While at the grocery our cell phone rang.  It was our daughter calling to let us know that she had been dropped off at the airport only to learn that  the flight had once again been canceled due to fog...

We tried to stay sunny about this...no use getting upset about these things, as long as she is safe.

And so we returned  home and ground and pressed our own beans, and toasted our favorite no flour bread.

And while my gallant husband went back to bed I let kitties in and out the door and quieted the dog and downloaded these pictures of  beaded birds and sugary treats and electric flowers in the shops of the little town that won't wake up for hours.   Next flight arriving sometime before nine this evening....a nap may be in order.
Or wait, is it too late to just go back to bed?

Wednesday morning P. S.  
~Last night was a safe and happy landing~
Now tonight we await word of our first daughter's return from  her two month artistic work visit to Austria.


GretchenJoanna said...

A thoroughly enjoyable travelogue of your early morning explorations. Makes me feel that I was with you...but no, I was asleep, missing everything. I think it was Benjamin Franklin who said, "The early morning has gold in its mouth." It just occurred to me that he was probably speaking of money, but I think of other riches.

Nature ID (Katie) said...

I love reading your posts, Jeannette. Your description of Carmel made me laugh. I often find the shops closed (even in the early evening), but their lights always seem to shine to show their beautifully displayed windows. I wonder if any of the shop keepers wake up in the early morning hours thinking "Did I turn the lights off?" Few people are out and about before the sun rises, save for the dedicated walkers, myself being one of them. It's my favorite part of the day here in the Monterey area away from the tourists and traffic, with the separation measured in time rather than location. Wishing you a lovely visit with your daughter.

Neal said...

Great post, as yours always are. Cheers!

Anonymous said...

Creative and fun post! I hope your Thanksgiving holiday is blessed and joyous in every way. How wonderful to have your daughters home!

Haddock said...

That is a lovely cock (whoever made it)

wayside wanderer said...

So glad your daughter made it and what a fun outing to get to see things in a different light. I can relate to waking early worry about something. This morning it was me worrying if our newly purchased Christmas tree had water.