Why I Love the Morning

I’m up early today. Early for me, at least. Nowadays, that’s 6:00 AM. When I was young, early was 4:00 AM. Early was Sunday morning when you’d decided NOT to get all the newspapers you had to deliver that morning prepped and ready to go the night before. Early was lugging a wagon full of newpapers around a neighborhood of sleeping people in sub-zero temperatures so that when they woke up, their newspaper would be neatly waiting them between their front door and the storm door… “neatly” being a relative term and all. Early was beating the sun up in the middle of the summer to see how fast you could deliver Tuesday’s papers, which were always the smallest. Early gave you chances to practice your newspaper throwing skills from sidewalk to porch.

“Back in the day,” early was before podcasts. Before I had the Daily Audio Bible. Even before MP3 players. What did I listen to back then? Seems strange now, looking back. Early truly was… ME TIME. Me and my newspapers.

Nowadays, early is just an hour before the rest of my family wakes up. It’s a chance to drink a cup of coffee before everyone else. To read a book. To write a blog. To sit and watch the sky go from dark blue to pink. To listen. To wait. To anticipate.

Why do I love the morning? I’ve been thinking of that for awhile now, as I’ve been practicing some routines to reclaim this important time of day. I love it because of how it changes me. I’m a happier guy when I go to bed at a decent hour and give myself some wake-up-time before fully engaging the day. I’m more relaxed when I’ve had the chance to do what I WANT to do before I do what I HAVE to do.

I read in a book today that you can change your life by choosing what to do with your life for only one minute a day. “One minute a day!?” I thought. No way. But yes, I think it might just be true. That moment when the alarm goes off, and I choose… will I lift head, rotate body, plant feet on floor, and push… or will I lean over, push snooze, and get another 8 minutes of “rest.” That one minute, the minute I decide to start my day or put it on hold, will set the course for the rest of my day… and even my life.

I hear my son starting to wake. It’s 15 minutes early for him. But I’m not frantic. He’s not going to get up before me or find me grumpy or hard to drag out of bed, because I’m already here, posting a blog, drinking my coffee, looking at cool pictures of my daughter that my wife posted on FaceBook. All is well in my world, at least for this hour of the day. And that reminds me that all is really OK in my world as a whole, no matter how frantic, idle, scary, or boring the day ahead may be.

That’s why I love the morning.





Hoppity the Lillypad Train

Another train story from the Cromer household. These are getting more and more imaginative as we wear out the obvious ones… which is in turn making them more and more fun. This one involves a train the size of a frog, lillypads, a dragonfly, and … a yellow submarine.




Electro the Lightning Train

Lightning Train

There was once a train named Electro. Electro had a special way of travel that was unlike any other train. He did not ride on rails. He did not even ride on roads. Electro was unique because he was able to travel between the earth and the clouds on bolts of lightning. Every time a bolt of lightning struck, it would carry Electro down to earth or back up to the sky. Because he had so little time, Electro could only pull one car of protons at a time, but when big storms came through, he was able to carry lots and lots of loads.

Electro was also special because he did not need a coal car or even a diesel engine. Because lightning is full of energy, Electro simply pulled electricity out of the lightning through his magnetic wheels. This gave him the power and speed he needed to make it down to earth or back up into the sky.


Marley The Ocean Train

There was once a train named Marley. He was a very special type of train, becuase he was able to ride specially designed train tracks that were laid across the bottom of the ocean. The OCEAN!? Yes, the Ocean!

Every week, Marley would load up his train cars with things from the United States and then start on his way across the Atlantic Ocean. He had to be careful, though, becuase if he didn’t go fast enough the cargo he carried would start to rust.

One day, Marley received a very special load, but there was a PROBLEM! No one could figure out how they could safely carry the load across the ocean without ruining it. What was his load? He had been asked to carry a load of WATER from one side of the world to the other. How could he do that? How could he safely carry water through the ocean without having it get all mixed in with the ocean water?

Marley thought for a while. He was worried he might not be able to help. And then he had a GREAT idea! Marley told the workers to bring around his tanker cars, the kind that were sealed so tight not that even gasoline could leak out. He told them to wash them out and put the water in them. THAT would do it!

Marley slowly ventured out into the ocean. At first, he continued to worry that the water in the tankers would mix with the ocean water. But it didn’t. It all looked fine. The more Marley chugged forward, the less he worried about his cargo, because he knew he’d done what needed to be done to keep it safe.

When Marley got Europe, the people gasped at what he had done! They didn’t believe the tanker cars could keep the water safe, but Marley no longer had any doubts. They unscrewed the top of one of the cars and let the people taste it; it was as pure as the day it had left the United States. Marley was RIGHT!

From that time on Marley stopped worrying about things a little bit. He knew that if he thought something through and took the right steps, things would probably be OK.

He also thought it was pretty neat how the tanker cars looked like little submarines trailing behind him as he chugged across the ocean floor.

Marley smiled. THIS IS THE LIFE.

Recently I’ve been making up train stories for Colton of trains on great adventures. This is the most recent one. He doesn’t care how crazy the stories get, in fact, the crazier, the better. Trains can do amazing things in our stories, things we never thought trains were even made for… but that doesn’t make the stories any less fascinating or open our eyes to the realm of possibility in our own lives.

I’ve been informed that tonight’s story must be about the Moon Train. Or maybe it was the Space Train, or the Mountain Train, or the River Train. I can’t remember… it’s a new adventure every single day.