Every year when the cooler weather comes, it becomes a mad rush to get things completed on the farm before winter sets in and we are too busy or just too darn cold to do anything. It also becomes a super productive time of year because it’s cooler and less humid than a Missouri summer, so my husband doesn’t have to change his sweat-drenched clothes 30 times a day. He really ought to take up a hobby like mine so he can sit at the kitchen table with some tea and cookies, in a tank top and shorts (minimal laundry), writing the day away. I really wish that was how I wrote, but today I’m writing a quick blog as my husband runs a few quick errands with the boy. I have minimal quiet time, so I will type and fold laundry until I have a brain fart and can’t continue. This is how we work in the fall, by multitasking. This is how we work any day, but in the fall it’s multitasking with a lot less sleep, that is until the dreaded, awful, and what my father-in-law calls a government conspiracy happens: The Time Change.
Every year when the time change occurs, it always sneaks up on us. We are too busy to notice until it’s on the news the day before, or I’m reminded at school with a cheerful mass email to employees to change their clocks. God forbid all the teachers show up early on Monday morning. I’ll be there as usual, the curse of an English teacher, grading in the wee hours. Although this is an extra hour of sleep, it throws off everything in our systems, especially for my husband. Most people have the stereotype in their heads that farmers get up early every day, but my husband only works with livestock so that’s a bit different, I guess, because he’s the exact opposite. During the summer he’d rather sleep late and stay up late, but now that the time change has occurred, he’d rather just hibernate for the rest of the winter. He’ll tell anyone that “sleep is his happy place.”
Even though the sun is up earlier for a few more weeks, he doesn’t care. He hates mornings. I could try to wake him up earlier before it’s light out, so he can make the most of his day, but that’s just playing with fire. He’s a real cranky butt in the morning, and my life has been threatened numerous times at 5:00 A.M. when I have woken up with a chirpy “Good Morning!” Most people want to kill me because I’m so chipper in the morning, so don’t think he’s just mean. I know I can be somewhat annoying because I run best on little sleep and lots of caffeine. Now that I have a child, even I can’t get chipper until after some coffee, and I’m usually out the door by then, so I’m safe. Even when my husband has had a lot of sleep, I will still hear his grumblings about how it’s too early and the time change is the devil around this time of year.
If he didn’t have things to do, he’d sleep all day, so I keep him busy with demands during the winter like, “Go cut some more wood so I can keep it 85 degrees in the house,” or “I slid my car off the driveway into a snow drift, go pull it out pppplease,” or “For God’s sake, put some clothes on.” The time change really does a number on our motivation around here.
The only thing that could motivate him to rise early might be to sit in front of the library with a petition like all the other crazy people do. He’d have a big sign that says, “END THE GOVERNMENT CONSPIRACY TO MAKE US WORK HARDER,” an idea he’s learned from his father that I don’t really understand. Actually, he’d never do that because he’s antisocial and wouldn’t ask for anyone’s help even if it was for a kidney donation. We’d just give him a bull’s kidney anyway. Basically, what we need for Christmas, for those relatives out there who read my blog out of pity, is a seasonal affective disorder light box. Maybe a little taste of the sun would put us back on the right track because, by Christmas, we are like bears hibernating - sleeping, eating, and gaining a massive amount of weight.