You had to give him credit for consistency….
Yes, very consistent, you could practically set your watch by him….
“COME ON BOYS! TIME TO DO CHORES!”
Every morning, better than an alarm clock, Dad would holler up from his spot at the kitchen table where he would already be drinking the first cup of coffee.
Now, in fairness, it wasn’t it first warning…
Us boys spent most of our nights sleeping on one open area in the upstairs of our farmhouse. For most of my youth, I shared a bed with my brother two years older than I am. About the age of eleven, I was finally given a bed to my own – my brother and I continued to sleep in the same room, but separated by about ten feet instead of ten inches.
As Dad would walk by our room heading downstairs, he would give us a soft, “Boys – time to get up. Time to do chores.”
We would muffle a reply and hope for a few more minutes. If it was already a little late…Dad would flip the light on. Not something that he liked to do, because he would know the resulting grumbling it would cause.
Nothing is so unpleasant at five thirty in the morning than a bright light shining in your eyes.
About ten minutes later, he would give us the first warning – as the first cup of coffee came out of the pot, he would move to the bottom of the steps and say with firmness but gentleness, “Boys! Are you up yet!”
With near equal consistency, one of us boys would stick a foot out of bed and stomp a couple of times, our bedrooms were strategically placed directly above the kitchen, so it sounded like we were in fact moving, when nothing could be quite so far from the truth.
It worked better than a snooze bar.
But even a snooze bar only last so long…when the call reached a fever pitch and was loud enough – almost – to wake our mother (a night owl who likely went to bed only a few hours before) and our little sister (who could sleep through a cat fight…and if woken before her time, was about as friendly as an angry cat).
When the first long low bellow reached us…we knew it was time to jump…
“BOYS! COME ON TIME TO DO CHORES!”
And jump we did. We could be dressed with boots on and heading down to the barn in about five minutes at that point.
Now I started doing chores outside in the mornings when I hit first grade, so about the age of six or seven, and that continued on until Dad sold the cows when I graduated, so a good eleven to twelve years. 365 days a year, in all weather.
I have to admit, my sleeping habits haven’t changed much…as much as I’d like to sleep in, most days, my internal alarm clock has be awake about the same time each morning.
Some mornings, especially when I’m tired, I’ll still wake up with one foot out of bed in the morning, still trying to hit that old snooze bar.