The whispering wind through aspen boughs, and shushing waves along rock-broken shore woke me long before chirruping squirrels or squawking jays. I’d shuffle down into the sleeping bag, or the rough woolen blankets. I’d try to pretend I didn’t have to pee. I’d think about the run to the outhouse through dew-wet grasses, hazy predawn sun aching to break through the lake mist. I’d try again to pretend I didn’t have to pee.
I always had to pee.
Back inside, after I’d hopped in the frigid foot-rinsing basin (I always thought it had a skim of ice on top; it never did), then leapt to the steps and wiped my feet on the sand-covered doormat inside, I’d run tippy-toe back to my bunk, and hope there was still some warm left inside my blanket. There always was. Sometimes, i could fall back asleep, until the sun streamed through the window at the top of my wall. Most times, I’d find the book I’d hidden between the mattress and the wall, and I’d read (yes, even though the light was dim. I had a flashlight and determination).
Then I discovered thunder mugs, and the entire process was much less descriptive. Particularly in the winter.
I knew it was time to jump back down off the bunk when I heard the crackling of a fire in the wood stove and the sound of water burbling into coffee in the percolator. That sound, part comfort of home and part SCIENCE!!! laboratory, always reminds me of those mornings. I still make our coffee in the percolator. It’s more than the sound, of course. You don’t quite get that early-morning coffee smell from a drip machine or a french press. Not in the same way.
Y’all should come to the lake some day. I’ll make you proper coffee, and bread baked in the wood stove.