Yesterday was busy, both with the routine - grocery day - and with the non-routine - visitors. Consequently, we were over an hour late getting to supper, and of course everything that is part of the usual evening schedule either got condensed or knocked out entirely - hence the very short blog for #255.
I made a point of going to bed on time, and sure enough, was out like a light. Very rarely do I have insomnia at the outset (hope I'm not jinxing myself here), but I do sometimes have trouble getting back to sleep once I've awakened. Eh. Aging. Nature of the beast, thinks me.
I couldn't tell you the last time I slept through the night, soundly slept straight thru. I guess it would've been back before The Men o'Paws. At this point in time a night with only one trip to the bathroom is worthy of note; two trips is the norm, and sometimes (mostly when I've had more tea than usual) there are three involved before morning.
[Is this more than you wanted to know?]
Come along as we take a brief sidetrip here.
Some years ago we'd gone to North Wales for a short break. We went to Llanberis (you may recall my pitiful attempts at Welsh pronunciation, but 'clan-BER-iss' is close enough), near Mount Snowdon, and planned to explore the area for a day or two.
We had climbed three of Longshanks' castles that day and I was tired. I conked out before Himself and was deeply asleep when he turned out the lights. A few hours later I had to get up (it really has been years I've had this disrupted sleep cycle, now that I think on it) and coming back to bed thought 'Oh, this is a nuisance - must be a streetlight outside the window.' The room was so brightly lit I could almost see colors, and I went to the fairly large window with the idea of trying to close the curtains.
There, hanging over a mountain, was one of the largest full moons I've ever seen. It was such a clear night - somewhat unusual in North Wales - without so much as a hint of cloud. There were no street lights in the vicinity; Llanberis was (and still is, in many ways) a small town, and although I believe there are well-lit areas there weren't any lights near our B&B. The room was lit by pure moonlight.
I sat by the window, spellbound, then did what many people might consider unconscionable: I woke Himself.
'Come here and look,' I said. He got up without complaint (which in itself tells you something about him) and came to the window - and was as entranced as I had been.
I don't know how long we watched the moon, amazed that no mist moved in, no clouds came into view. We spoke softly, in case lodgers in neighboring rooms might be disturbed. Finally, after the moon had well cleared the mountain and, with the changed perspective, looked somewhat smaller, we went back to bed - though the room continued to be bright.
We jump back to present day.
Last night I got up for what I think of as The First Trip. It was around 1:30 AM probably, as we generally go to bed at 11. I get up at 7 and usually there are at least two trips involved, so... yes, my best guess would be around 1:30.
As I was coming back to bed I thought the shrubbery outside the window looked too well lit to be reflecting any light or sky-shine (light pollution, really, I suppose) that might be in the area. 'Drat, must've left a light on somewhere' - and no help for it but to go through and turn out whatever light up front we'd left on.
And of course it wasn't a light. I had no idea there was a full moon last night. I'd not turned any lights on as I made my way to the front of the house; I didn't need to; it was so bright, although none of the windows I passed actually faced that part of the sky. I could see perfectly well to navigate.
When I stepped into the kitchen, I could at last see the moon: there was a sharply-defined square of light on the floor, so bright that had there been color I would have thought it sunlight. I watched the moon for a moment - no clouds in sight - and was taken back to Llanberis these now-several years ago.
I re-traced my steps and woke Himself.
Again, he made no complaint. All I said was 'Please come and see this.' When he came into the kitchen he made a sound of surprise, and stood at the window, as mesmerized as I'd been, amazed at the brilliance of the light pouring in.
There were shadows, clear, bold shadows. I hadn't put my glasses on - without which, you may recall, I see only blurs and indistinct outlines - yet could see so clearly. We talked softly, though this time there were no neighbors in close proximity: the moonlight seemed to call for quiet, and so we were.
I pulled a paper out of a kitchen drawer where I keep a few recipes. I couldn't read the directions portion - that would be in about 12-point font - but I could clearly read the headers and the ingredients list. Moonlight bright enough to read by...
It wasn't long before the clouds began to move in. We've had a long spell of cloud cover and rainy days, and that was another reason the clarity of the night surprised me. It must've been such a brief time that the sky cleared sufficiently to allow the moon to be seen, without haze or even wisps of clouds. Suddenly, though, the clouds moved in, and the moon was completely obscured, with little more than a dim, pale glow to show where it was.
We went back to bed, feeling slightly disappointed, like two kids who've been told it's past their bedtime. I fell asleep quickly, even though I'd been fully awake for several minutes - I think Himself went right back to sleep too, though he hasn't said. I will ask him if I think of it, but only out of mild curiosity.
I don't generally appreciate being awoken in the middle of the night, especially from a sound sleep; I like to think I would accept the serendipity of such moments as last night, whether I'd spotted them on my own or had them called to my attention. But to show up the difference in our natures - the first thing he said to me this morning was 'Thank you for waking me last night. I'm glad I didn't miss seeing that full moon.'
Me too, honey. Me too.
Goodnight, Sparklers, wherever you are...